As a pitbull owner, your primary concern for your pooch is keeping him safe, healthy, and happy. We give our dogs the best possible care when we’re home, but we can’t be with our dogs all the time, even if we wish we could. This is where hiring a pet sitter for your pitbull can come in handy. Whether you’re going on vacation or need someone on a regular basis to provide extra care while you’re out, a good pet sitter can give your pitbull the love and care they need whenever you’re away.
Why Hire a Pet Sitter for a Pitbull?
When you hire a sitter for your pitbull, you can expect them to do far more than just provide basic care. Of course, a sitter will provide those things — feedings, fresh water, walks, and playtime. But a good pitbull sitter does so much more. They administer medication, ensure your pup’s overall health, and give them love and companionship. Because a sitter gives your pitbull so much personalized attention, they can also spot any health concerns or changes in behavior that may warrant a trip to the vet. A pet sitter will accommodate your rules, your dog’s schedule, and also reinforce training by using your commands.
The other main benefit of having a sitter for your pitbull is that you can feel confident that your dog is safe and secure in his own environment. As an alternative to using a kennel when you’re away, this means your pitbull will feel more himself in his usual surroundings, with all of the familiar sights and smells. Some dogs have separation anxiety when they’re put in new situations, but hiring a sitter for your pitbull eliminates that worry.
Finding the Right Sitter for Your Pitbull
With all of these important responsibilities, you don’t want to hire just anyone to care for your pitbull. Some people feel most comfortable asking someone they know for recommendations, such as asking your veterinarian or other pet parents about a pet sitter they use and trust. Many reputable pet sitters are also listed on websites like Rover.com and Care.com. However you find your sitter, the most important thing is to check their credentials, ask the right questions, and make sure they maintain open communication with you.
Questions to Ask Your Pitbull Sitter
Even if you find a sitter through a reputable website, you still want to conduct an interview to make sure the person is a good fit for you and your pitbull. A good sitter will have more than just the right qualifications. You also want to get a feel for their personality and whether they have a genuine love of animals. When you first meet with a potential sitter, give them a chance to meet your pitbull so you can see how they interact. You want the person to be calm and consistent with your pitbull, and most of all, you want to see that your dog is comfortable and happy with them.
While keeping these personality traits in mind, be sure to ask the right questions to get a good idea of their background.
- What training and certifications do you have? There are several organizations that provide certification to pet sitters, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International (PSI). Sitters earn certification based on coursework that focuses on pet behavior, pet care skills, and in many cases, they also learn CPR. Having a certification isn’t an absolute must, but it’s a way to get peace of mind that they have honed their skills and are committed to providing quality care.
- Do you have experience caring for pitbulls? As a pitbull owner, you know how amazing and special your pooch is, but there are some people who have biased ideas about pitbulls. You want to find someone who appreciates and loves your pitbull as much as you do. Another reason to look for someone who has experience with pitbulls is that they will be more knowledgeable about your dog’s specific needs. Pitbulls are highly energetic dogs who needs lots of exercise. Look for a person who can match your pitbull’s energy level with walks and plenty of active playtime.
- Do you have insurance? Having insurance is another qualification that shows your potential sitter is serious about their business, and it offers protection to both you and the sitter. As with other types of private insurance, pet sitting insurance policies offer different levels of protection, so it’s a good idea to ask the sitter exactly what their insurance covers.
- Do you have references? Before hiring a sitter for your pitbull, be sure to check the person’s references to make sure they are representing themselves accurately. A trustworthy pet sitter should be able to provide at least three references from recent clients.
- Can you accommodate my schedule? Be sure to communicate with your pet sitter what kind of schedule you expect and whether you need flexibility. It’s also a good idea to ask if they work with anyone who can serve as a backup in case they’re ever unavailable at the last minute.
Important Information to Communicate to Your Pitbull Sitter
Once you find the right sitter for your pitbull, they will want you to inform them about your dog’s routine in as much detail as possible. The more knowledge they have about your dog’s regular schedule, the better care they can provide, and the happier your pitbull will be with his new sitter.
Besides the basics, these are a few key details you don’t want to forget:
- Training and commands – Pitbulls are generally eager to please their companions, and your dog is probably no different. Make sure your sitter knows the commands you use and rewards you provide, such as treats and praise.
- Playtime preferences – Unless you have a senior dog, your pitbull is probably full of energy and needs lots of exercise. Your dog’s behavior and happiness depend on getting the exercise they need. If your pitbull hates playing fetch but loves a good game of tug, your sitter will want to know that.
- Your pitbull’s disposition with other dogs and people – If your dog is skittish around other dogs or new people, this is important information for your sitter to know. Your sitter may have another dog they sometimes bring on visits, but if your pitbull isn’t dog-friendly, they need to be prepared to leave other dogs at home.
- Your pitbull’s medical needs – Pitbulls are typically healthy dogs, but there are some health issues they are prone to. Make sure your pet sitter is aware of any specific issues your pitbull has. If your sitter cares for your dog frequently, they can also keep an eye out for signs of common problems, like skin allergies. Pitbulls are also heat sensitive, which is a critical concern for your sitter to be aware of when it gets hot out.
You might assume that anyone who works as a pet sitter would naturally love dogs, but that isn’t always the case. This is why it’s so important to be diligent about choosing the best person for the job. Pitbulls are special dogs, and yours deserves special treatment from an amazing sitter.