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Pet Sitting Helps Keep Your Pets Stress-free

Thanks to the emergence of 'pet sitting', engaging a pet sitter to look after peoples pets when they want to travel is fast becoming the norm as pet parents discover they don't have to be tied to their homes by concerns for their pets welfare.

There are times when you have to be away from home on business, to attend to family matters, or for that much-needed holiday. Unless you're taking your pet with you, they'll need to be taken care of until you're back. Some people are fortunate enough to have a pet-loving neighbour or a relative nearby to look after them. For most pet parents the standard option is to place their pet in a kennel, with its attendant risks and expenses. However, the most ideal choice is pet sitting in your own home.

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Why choose pet sitting?

Pet sitting means arranging for someone to look after your pet full-time in their own home. Aside from making sure that the animal is safe, well-fed and comfortable, pet sitting addresses the biggest problem a pet might have when left alone – stress. A recent study showed that dogs in shelters are mostly stressed by the barking of other dogs around them. The veterinarian-author, Dr. Paul McCutcheon also wrote that, “... boredom and loneliness are probably the most damaging factors in a pet's life”.

Dogs and cats communicate through body language, vocalization and their behaviour. It's only by observing these that a person can tell when a dog is stressed. That's what makes pet sitting the ideal choice for a pet that has to be left behind.

Other factors that can cause canine stress

Stress in a pet can be caused by factors other than loneliness and noise, so pet sitting is the optimal way to make sure that these are immediately addressed:

  • Proper nutrition - Ensuring that the dog is fed with the proper foods, at the right times and in the exact amounts is the first benefit of pet sitting. Especially during summer months, a pet sitter sees to it that sufficient water is available and easily accessible at all times. Any vitamins and other medications that the pet must have are taken care of by the pet sitter.
  • Regular exercise - a pet sitter makes sure that your dog is walked regularly and gets its daily exercise. It also allows the dog to move around freely without straying or getting into dangerous situations. Especially when its owner is away, regular exercise will help take a dog's mind off the fact that you aren't there and help it sleep better to combat stress.
  • Comfort - Pet sitting assures the pet owner of adequate shelter for the dog, keeping it away from extremes of the weather. Because the dog stays at home and not in some strange kennel, it continues to enjoy the comfort of its own bed and surroundings, plays with its usual toys and is not stressed out by other dogs it doesn't know.
  • Safety and treatment - An unexpected ailment or pain can cause a dog a lot of stress. Pet sitting can include regular trips to the veterinarian if required. When an emergency occurs, a good pet sitter will have the vet's contact numbers and address handy so immediate treatment can be administered and the dog gets quick relief.

Pet minding benefits cut both ways

Many pet parents who have to leave home for a while face the dual challenge of having their home looked after and the pet taken care of. Here's where an opportunity comes in for both the home/pet owner and a house sitter who loves pets.

For the home and dog owner, pet sitting is a two-in-one package. By finding a house sitter who can also take care of the pet, the home owner has someone to see that the home is clean and secure. The house sitter, by prior arrangement, can take care of other tasks like tending the lawn, paying utility bills and forwarding mail. The big advantage is that the house sitter also serves as a pet sitter and makes sure the pet is properly looked after and cared for.

House sitting is often done at no cost to the homeowner in exchange for free accommodation and use of a home's kitchen by the sitter. This gives a house sitter a great opportunity to travel to other cities and countries without having to pay for hotel bills and to save on restaurant charges. Depending on the work required and if there is a pet to be taken care of with special care requirements the house sitter can have a chance to earn some extra money for looking after the dog.

Pet sitting for pet lovers combines the benefits of house sitting and the opportunity to be in the company of a pet. While pet sitting, the house sitter gets to meet other pet owners in the area, exchange experiences and make new friends who share their interest in pets.

Finding a pet minding position

The Mindahome website makes it easy to find a house sitting position that includes pet sitting. We connect home owners and their pets with interested home and pet sitters. The pet parent and interested pet sitter can discuss the details of the position such as schedules and requirements. Best of all, the pet parent can thoroughly inform the sitter of their pet's requirements and needs so the pet never feels "home alone".