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5 Signs of a Bad Pet Sitter

catlaserpointerOMG!!! We here at Snug At Home Pet Sitting have heard ALL of these from new clients. Sure, things happen. Pet sitting can be challenging sometimes. Pets can be unpredictable, and provisions have to be made. We had one exception to Rule #5 recently, when clients consulted us about pet sitting their aggressive cat, a real My Cat From Hell case. Their two dogs put their complete trust in us, but the cat wasn’t having any of it.
First day of pet sitting, the cat clearly didn’t want anyone touching her things! Swatting at my hands as I put the lid back on the litterbox, batting the can of cat food out of my hand, clawing my ankles, reaching up as though she wanted to be picked up, then clawing her way slowly up my legs–chik! chik! chik!–like a rock climber– ?? This was the very first time that I as an avowed cat person had to deal with such a rowdy client.
She’d claw on the hamper, and when I told her ‘No’, she clearly gave me the bird and kept scratching.
Several bloody hands later, a laser pointer was revealed to do the trick in redirecting the cat so that pet sitting duties could be completed before spending some rigorous playtime to make the kitty content. Jackson Galaxy would have been proud.
I told her parents all these stories when they returned, and they were glad, because they were hoping to find a pet sitter who could handle this spoiled kitty. The clients were delighted to see my laser pointer expertise, and decided to get one for their precocious pet.
But you are always going to want to be sure your pet sitter is ON THEIR GAME! Are all your money and valuables still where you left them? Is your liquor cabinet not as full as before? Does your home security keypad show that the petsitter only showed up THREE TIMES in the FIVE days you were gone???
Our policy at Snug At Home is to pretend that EVERY home has full video surveillance. We want you to be satisfied with our service EACH AND EVERY TIME. And if you ever rely on another pet sitter in the future, here are some things you really want to look for.

english-bulldog-puppy-shutterstock_43681333Avoiding the ‘Black Sheep’

Naturally we all want the best care possible for our pets, especially if we’re away for days at a time. Pet sitters are a great solution, but how do you know if you’ve hired someone who has your pet’s best interests at heart? Here are some clues to pay particular attention to upon your return. While some of these tips seem obvious, overlooking them can lead to insufficient care going on longer than it should.

Portions excerpted from a Pet360 article by Valerie Trumps

dachshund-dog-food-shutterstock_974581371. Disorderly Feeding Area

What is the condition of your pet’s water bowl? Is it dirty, or worse, completely dried up? Even if the water bowl has run dry from an accident like your pet knocking it over, an attentive sitter should be checking the water level daily at a minimum, and twice a day if the weather is especially hot.

And don’t forget the food bowl. Are there bugs in it? Has dry food gotten wet and left to putrefy, or canned food gone crusty on the plate? A pet sitter who can’t stay on top of the minimal is someone who should be shown the door.

dog-accident-shutterstock_853305282. Evidence of ‘Accidents’

Do you see or smell any evidence of “accidents?” Not so obvious indications that your dog was taken out too late can include a scratched up door, suspicious carpet stains, or a lingering odor. On an extended basis, your dog can develop bladder infections from trying to hold his urine for too long, and possibly even behavioral issues regarding his potty practices. If you are a cat owner, does the litter box show signs of neglect? Too infrequent or inadequate cleanings may cause your kitty to seek out other places to relieve himself, or refuse to use his box at all.

cigarette-ash-tray-shutterstock_522678943. Lack of Respect for Your Property

Is your once-full refrigerator now bare? Do you smell cigarette smoke? Are your items moved around, or do they show signs of tampering? Is anything, especially valuables, missing? Have your neighbors reported unacceptable behavior, such as strangers being admitted into your home? Even if your pet sitter is providing overnight visits, appropriate behavior includes respect for your property. A pet sitter who does not inherently know these things should not have the responsibility of caring for your pet.

injured-cat-shutterstock_214030034. Unexplained Injuries

While occasional injuries to outdoor pets are not that unusual, a sudden or unexplained injury may be a cause for alarm. Signs to look for include a limp, cuts, bleeding, swelling of the limbs or around the face, and a general malaise.


5.Fearful or Hostile Pet

Another indication of potential abuse is when your pet is afraid of the sitter. Uncharacteristic hostility and aggression towards the person means it’s time to find another pet sitter.

youre-fired-shutterstock_104307521What to Do with Bad Pet Sitters

Making the decision to dismiss your pet sitter can be awkward and difficult, especially if your reason for doing so is nothing more than a sneaking suspicion. Regardless of whether the cause for dismissal is obvious or imagined, your pet’s health and well-being are dependent on your good judgment. Neglecting to take necessary action can have a far-reaching impact on both your psyche (i.e., guilt) and on the happiness and security of your pet.

At Snug At Home we are ALWAYS mindful of our responsibilities, and when you hand us your key or security code, it’s a Contract of Trust. It is our solemn promise to always give you the BEST pet care possible!
Check out the full article with proper credits at PetMD.com


What’s the Best Way to Find a Great Sitter?

Here in the Fort Knox area, we live in a transient community. Clients move in for a couple of years, and then move on to another duty station. Other clients move away for various reasons. Now that you know what to look for in a bad sitter, if or when you move onto another location, you may have to start looking for a new one. You don’t want to end up with a bad apple. Read PetMD’s list of Top 10 Tips on Finding a Qualified and Professional Pet Sitter so that you’ll be well-prepared to ask all the right questions.



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One Response to “5 Signs of a Bad Pet Sitter”

  1. Alice says:

    I just called to book Snug At Home again. I am thrilled to have found such trustworthy and dependable caregivers for my kitties. It makes all the difference in being able to relax and enjoy a vacation or to be able to concentrate on a business trip when I know my kitties and my home are in such good hands. Pam is a treasure!

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