You love animals. They are cute, fun and you love to play with them. What a better job than to love other peoples’ animals and make a few extra bucks, right? WRONG!
Just because you love animals, does not mean you should turn caring for them into a full-time job.
Does your pet sitter know that the toad the dog is sniffing could be an invasive cane toad and if licked, could throw your dog into grand mal seizures within a matter of minutes and potentially lead to death?
Or that bush the dog is playing in is a Sago Palm and if chewed on could lead to hepatic failure and maybe even death?
Does your pet sitter know the symptoms of UTI, DKA(Diabetic Keto Acidosis) or hypoglycemia? Should something happen to your pet and it requires post-op or intensive care, does your sitter know how to give injections or provide subcutaneous fluids?
During one of my recent overnight care jobs, I got a call from the owner early in the morning that her dog just tore her cruciate ligament (equivalent to an ACL in humans). Her family was supposed to leave on a plane, across the country in two hours. Rightfully so, her veterinarian mom was concerned for her care while they would be out of town. Fortunately, I have had plenty of experience while working at BluePearl Veterinary Partners when it comes to caring for dogs who have experienced this injury or those who are recovering from corrective surgery.
The following Monday, I brought her in to have surgery. I was sure she was fasted and administered all medications that were appropriate to on an empty stomach. I picked her up a few days later and she began her recovery process in the comfort of her home.
My advice to you is to get experience first before you become a pet sitter! Go volunteer or work in a veterinary hospital, pet daycare facility, rescue shelter or something similar. Familiarize yourself with environmental dangers, common illnesses and injures. Lives are in your hands, and when accidents happen, you want to be armed with experience and knowledge.
For those who are looking for pet care, make sure your sitter has experience or training. Ask questions. A good sitter will in turn ask questions about your pets and their needs.