Are you in a household where both pawrents work full time and the furbaby is mostly alone? Or perhaps are you considering getting a furbaby but are worried because all members of the household work full time? If you answered yes to any of the two questions then perhaps getting a dog sitter might be a good solution for you! I’d like to share with you my experience of getting a dog sitter and hopefully that would give you enough information to consider having one too.
When we welcomed Ollie to our home, I knew that a puppy would need lots of attention. I had a week of leave and I thought that was enough. Little did I know, after reading extensively, that is not enough. Though puppies spend a lot of time sleeping, they needed the human interaction as well. Without it, they might experience separation anxiety and perhaps face other emotions or psychological issues.
I was fortunate that my mother-in-law was able to come over every day for almost a month from 12-1 to look after Ollie when he was a puppy. However, I knew this was not a long term solution so I went online to see what I could do. That was when I stumbled on the site www.pawshake.com
Pawshake was a platform that allowed me to book a sitter. Most people, I realised much later, only booked a sitter when they needed someone to look after their furbabies when they were on vacation or over the weekend. It wasn’t common to get a daily sitter to look after the furkid.
I used that platform to find a sitter for Ollie on a daily basis (weekdays). The platform encourages you to meet the sitter before confirming the deal. This was useful as it allowed me to see how they interact with Ollie. In fact, this was a very important part of choosing a sitter as sometimes Ollie wasn’t as comfortable or might even bully the person who came over to look after him. All the instructions to how this can occur is in the site itself. Thus, I relied on the information online and found sitter for Ollie when he was 4 months old. The person I found was a student who was waiting to pursue her studies online. The cost ranges and different sitters have a different price. It ranges from $10-$30. As I wanted someone on a regular basis, I asked if I could get a small discount. The first sitter I had for Ollie was 19 years old and had several pets before. She charged $10/hr and that amounted to $200/month. My husband and I decided to go with her as we found that once Ollie met her, he was instantly connected to her.
Let me go to some details about what happened during her time with Ollie. As Ollie was still a puppy, she spent that time cuddling with him, playing with him and even teaching him how to pee and poo. We had a playpen for Ollie and so when she came she will release him from it and give him as much attention as she could. In fact, she even helped to potty train him during her time with him. In terms of safety, we gave the keys to her once we decided to get her help. We also informed her that we have a camera and always checked it when she was in the house. We locked the other doors when we left home. There must be some form of trust between the sitter and the pawrent for this arrangement to work. The sitter made a huge difference to Ollie’s growth. I leave my home at 6.40am daily while my husband would leave at 8. The sitter comes from 12.30-1.30. Once my husband leaves, Ollie will nap till the sitter comes. I would return home between 5.30-6 and Ollie would be napping until I returned. As Ollie knew someone would be there in the afternoon, he didn’t display any signs of separation anxiety. In fact, he is so used to the routine, even on weekends he would sleep till 12 then ask for attention and have a nap after. I’ve read a lot online about how sleep is important for canines.
Now, Ollie is 2years and 3 months. Do I still have a sitter for him? Yes I do!
The reality is, the sitter won’t be able to commit for the whole year. They too have different responsibilities at different times of the year. Normally I have a sitter that can commit at least 1-2months. It might also not be possible to always get a sitter for $10/hr. There were months where the sitter’s price would be $12-$20/hr. However, I didn’t not mind it as long as there was someone to walk him and play with him in the afternoon. In fact, I even made friends with some of the sitters and invite them over for Ollie’s birthday. Here is a picture of Summer who was Ollie’s sitter in 2019 with her husband at Ollie’s first birthday. Ollie absolutely loved all the attention from her.
In fact even over the weekends, if we needed help, we knew we could ask the sitter to come over and look after him! Thus, I would definitely encourage pawrents to get a sitter if they need help in looking after their furbabies. After all, a happy furbaby is a happy pawrent!