3 Great reasons for getting a pet sitter this holiday season

Turkeys. Invitations. Holiday shopping. Deal hunting. Family and friends.  These are just a few phrases that come to mind as we approach the holiday festivities of 2012.  To manage all of the holiday fun – and the hustle and bustle that comes with it – we rely on baby sitters, nannies, friends, and family to help out with watching the kids.  During the holidays, the kids aren’t the only ones who may need someone to watch them; sometimes we need to think outside of the box for our pets.  This holiday season, a part-time pet sitter may be just what you need. Here’s why:

A Puppy plays with tinsel around the holidays

The holidays are fun for the whole family; make sure your pet can enjoy them as well with a few precautions.

1. Holiday travel is rough.

Travel has its ups and downs, from long lines at the airport and flight delays to packing.  Some pets love travel, but others are not as well suited for journeys outside the neighborhood. Brachycephalic dogs, or “smushed-faced” breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, have issues with travel, especially by air; they need better air flow and breathing room than most aircraft accommodations allow. Warm-weathered breeds, including hairless breeds, may not appreciate sub-zero temperatures, no matter how thick their sweaters are.


2. Holiday parties and gatherings are fun for us but stressful for pets.

Holiday events are typically filled with merriment and cheer; while that translates as fun for us, for our pets, it’s loud and intimidating, and could  increase your pet’s anxiety level. New faces, unfamiliar scents, and an unusual noise level all lead pets to seek refuge and retreat, leaving them searching for an isolated, quiet place to decompress. Is your pet on a restricted diet? Well meaning guests could sneak them little morsels under the table, posing a health risk to pets who can’t digest certain foods. In addition the stress of your guests and the music, your holiday décor could be problem for your cat or dog as well.  As much as we love our festive poinsettias and tinsel, certain plants are toxic to pets, and many decorations pose choking hazards for pets who may mistake a bauble for a ball.


3. Time management (holiday preparation and planning is a time suck).

Holiday shopping, party planning, home preparation and cleaning are all time consuming and physically exhausting activities.  The last thing you want to do is neglect your pet during these often hectic and draining tasks.  Engaging a pet sitter to supervise, feed, and entertain your pet during these times keeps your pet healthy and happy while freeing your mind and body to focus on holiday stuff.  When you’re not worrying about your pet or feeling guilty for leaving them in their crate, you’ll probably work faster and more efficiently – and maybe even enjoy yourself more – knowing that your pet is well taken care of by a loving professional.


 Pet Sitters to the Rescue

Navigate away from undue stress and anxiety raising situations straining your pet during the holidays by engaging a pet sitter.  The right pet sitter is a trusted partner who cares for your pets with the same love and consideration as you. A few services provided by pet sitters include:

  •  In-home visits to check up on your pet throughout the week while you’re traveling
  • Stay with your pet – while watching over your home and pet at the same time
  • Take your pet for walks and outdoor activities in general
  • Entertain and care for your pet in a separate room while you entertain elsewhere in your home
So how do you know that a sitter can be trusted?

Referrals from family, friends, neighbors, and vets are all excellent places to start.  But, other options exist.  For example, online communities like care.com offering background checked and screened pet sitters are now a go-to source for pet parents around the country.  For a low membership fee, you can peruse pet sitters and pet care providers within your zip code; pet sitter and care provider profiles include background check screening reviews, member reviews and references, and photos in many cases.  Another potential source is angieslist.com.


So, the next time you find yourself strapped for time or trying to figure out how to take care of your pet before boarding a holiday trip related flight, Think about hiring a pet sitter or scheduling your pet their very own vacation at a pet hotel or doggy spa.

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