You are new to town, or maybe just new to your neighborhood. One of the first things many people do when they move to a new location is go to Google and enter “pet sitter near me,” or some close version of that phrase. Up pops your search results, and then you are faced with having to figure out which option is right for you.
What do you base your decision on when you end up choosing your own “pet sitter near me”? Who has the best website? Who popped up first on the list? Who had the lowest prices? Who used the cutest pictures? Or do you first get a referral from a trusted friend or neighbor and skip the online search all together?
Finding the “best pet sitter near me” is a lot easier when you have a list of things to look for in your search. Here are some of the criteria we recommend you look for when finding the best Dallas pet sitter for your pet:
- How long have they been in business? The best pet sitting company in Dallas got to be the best because they have experience in handling all kinds of situations, can manage remote staff, and can cater to all kinds of pets and clients. We recommend looking for a company that has been in business at least a decade, because with that tenure most will have broad experience under their belt.
- Do they use employees or independent contractors? Companies that utilize employees can train their staff on best practices, independent contractors cannot. Unless you are prepared to quiz your personal sitter on their personal pet experience and training—and frankly, even know what to ask—it is best to utilize companies that have standardized training and use employees.
- Are their staff background checked, bonded and insured? We would never recommend letting anyone in your home that cannot easily say yes to these questions (and provide proof if requested), because remember, a pet sitter will have full access to your unattended home. Anything can happen if you don’t hire and/or screen people with these important safeguards, so make sure you verify that any company you hire has them.
- How long do staff members typically stay with the company? If a Dallas pet sitting company has a lot of turnover, that can often be a reflection of how the company is managed or the lack of screening that is performed when hiring. Pet sitting companies that have more long-tenured employees are usually ones that are better managed, have stricter hiring protocols and/or have a good working environment that make staff want to stay employed there. And not surprising, more experience on the job usually equates to a better pet sitting service experience by clients too!
- What do other people say about the company online? While many companies will post positive testimonials they have received on their own websites (which is completely fine to do), it is also recommended that you scrutinize a service provider’s Google Business page, their Yelp page and their Facebook pages for reviews. These three sources are free for anyone to post on, and will be a great indicator of a company’s true overall service level. If they have few reviews at all, you should wonder if they are a very small company or may be new and inexperienced; if they have lots of positive reviews over a broad period of time, that is usually a pretty good indicator of how they prioritize customer service. We also recommend looking for the bad reviews they may have received and see how management responded to them (if they did at all). That can also tell you a lot about how a company is managed. We believe how you handle things when they don’t go perfectly says as much about a company as how they handle things when they go right.
- What happens if something happens to my pet sitter in the middle of the set of visits? Most people, unfortunately, don’t think about this possibility—but they should. If a sitter falls ill, gets in an accident, has a family emergency, etc., do you know who will step in for them? Many individual pet sitters have no backup plan for these scenarios, and thus, your pets could suffer the consequences. Ask the Dallas pet sitting company you are considering hiring if they have backup sitters that can step in quickly and if they use technology to monitor completion of visits. This simple question can give you great peace of mind that all of the pet sitting visits that you scheduled happen as they should.
- What if there is an emergency or a pet gets away? It is always appropriate to ask how your potential Dallas pet sitting company handles the unexpected when it happens. We recommend asking if they have managers or other sitters to help in an emergency situation, how these people are contacted, and what the typical protocol is in regards to contacting the client to let them know about the emergency.
While the above is certainly not a complete list of possible questions to ask, they are certainly a good start for people who are looking for a “pet sitter near me.” Feel free to ask how Park Cities Pet Sitter would answer these questions!