When it comes to our pets, we only want the best. We want them to be safe while we are away. Many dog parents who work full time jobs hire a pet sitter to feed, play, walk or simply keep their furry friends company in their absence. But just like nannies to children, not all sitters are fit for the job – there are those who are in it for the pay and don’t actually care for the animals. So if you currently have one employed, here are 5 signs of a bad pet sitter that you need to watch out for:
Messy feeding area
The main job of a pet sitter is to make sure that your dog is fed and hydrated throughout the day. Check your pet’s feeding area – is his food bowl kept clean or is there food left that’s gone bad? Are there bugs in it? Is his water bowl dirty or dried up completely? A sitter that actually cares for your pet knows better than to leave the animal’s feeding area disorderly. A responsible one will feed your dog and make sure to clean up afterwards.
Lack of respect
A pet sitter, just like anyone who works for someone, should recognize authority and know boundaries. Once you’re home, check around the house – have your things been used or moved around? Has food in your pantry been touched (without your permission)? Do you smell cigarette smoke? If your sitter lacks respect for your property, he is definitely not fit to care for your dog.
Dog poo or pee in the house
If there are any signs of your dog’s “accidents” in the house more than once – whether you see or smell it, this only means that your pet was taken out too late. Dogs live for a routine so if their daily schedule is not followed, especially when it comes to their poo and pee schedule, it could lead to behavioral issues and even health problems (from holding their pee too long).
While dogs are prone to injuries because of their active nature, unexplained or back to back injuries (even small ones) only indicates that they are not looked after very well. An abusive behavior by your sitter towards your pet could also be possible.
Observe how your dog reacts to your sitter – does he greet your sitter excitedly or is he fearful? When it’s the latter, it only means that your furry friend dislikes the person, most probably because he isn’t being treated well when you’re away.
If you observe 3 or more of these signs from your pet sitter, consider installing a hidden cam in your house to investigate further. Otherwise, fire the person – he’s not hard to replace.