There’s something about home that is comforting to people and animals alike. Familiar surroundings, noises and routines have a calming effect on the day. Despite the benefits of being at home, many people regularly rely on outside boarding for their pets largely due to lack of knowledge of other options.
According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), 60 percent of all households in the United States have some sort of pet, be it a dog, cat, bird or small animal. Most treat their pets just like a child or another member of the family, with the needs of the pet ranking highly. Decisions, then, about health care, grooming and pet sitting are very important.
In the past pet owners had to rely on an animal hospital, private boarder or a family member to watch their animals when they needed to be away from home. This often required pets to be taken out of their familiar surroundings and placed in a different home or into a cage for extended periods of time – something that was against the norm. While some animals are more forgiving of being uprooted, many display feelings of anxiety when separated from their owners and home. This can result in erratic or destructive behavior. Upon pickup, the animal may act depressed or despondent toward his owner.
New option: pet
Pet sitters provide a better option for many pets, as experts agree that the in-home and personalized care a pet sitter can provide is more in tune with an animal’s needs.
Pet sitters are individuals who visit the home and take care of a pet while an owner is away, whether at work or on a vacation or business trip. While many pet sitters operate independent businesses, NAPPS was created to provide education, networking and professional integrity, helping to foster success for pet sitters. The association promotes excellence among pet sitters and serves as a voice for the expanding industry. Participating members agree to a Pledge of Professional Conduct, and NAPPS can provide certification in pet sitting as well.
Besides the apparent benefits of a pet sitter, including keeping a pet in his home environment, there are other advantages to going the pet sitter route.
· Pet sitters eliminate the need to pack up the animal to transport to a boarding establishment. This is a plus for those who are time-crunched. Plus, some boarding establishments do not allow toys and food to be brought in. A pet who has to eat food that is not the norm could develop short-term stomach upset.
· Many pets do not like car travel. Since pet sitters come to the home, a pet owner needn’t stress out their pet with a car ride.
· Pet sitters are professional individuals who take pride in watching a pet. They will not “forget” to check in on an animal as friends and family members may happen to do with hectic schedules.
· In addition to pet care, sitters also may be able to take care of other needs while a person is away, such as watering plants, taking in the mail/newspapers, and serving as a deterrent to would-be burglars, since it is apparent someone is visiting the home on a regular basis.