Our pets are valuable to us, so why not hire a service that delivers on value? These common scenarios are “real-life” problems that have come up in Professional Pet Care companies across the DC area. Unfortunately sometimes when you hire a local friend, neighbor or student, they are unable to fulfill the commitment for one reason or another, but professional pet care companies have back-up and emergency plans built into their operating procedures, plus they have the experience to know how to address problem and challenges when they occur.

Scenario 1:  Sue G. was frantic on the phone when she called a professional pet sitter for help. Her neighbor who had been caring for her cat while she was travelling, had let the cat escape and then left for work. 

Scenario 2: In a different call that week, Lori P. who hired a college student to watch her dogs during a three day trip received a call that due to an important test the student needed a day off to study, would that be okay? 

Pet ownership is on the rise and pet owners are no longer satisfied to leave their pets in the care of a neighbor or student. They are putting quality and value first when looking for a pet sitter or dog walker, even if that comes with a cost. 

When you are looking for pet care services, there are so many options that it can be overwhelming. But there is help available! The National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network (NCAPPSN) is a good source to find a local, professional pet sitter, dog walker, or pet care provider. The NCAPPSN website is a valuable resource for locating a professional pet sitter in your area. The relationship between the pet parent and the pet service provider should have clear and open communication, a clear service agreement and detailed set of care instructions. Network members provide a high standard of pet care services, commitment, and love to pets and their owners in NOVA, MD, and DC. 

All NCAPPSN members:

• Own and operate their business, and have credentials through the state, district and/or county in which they do business

• Are bonded and insured

• Are encouraged to obtain training for themselves and all staff in Pet First Aid & CPR

• Belong to a nationally recognized professional pet industry organization

• Have signed our Pledge of Professional Conduct which can be found at http://ncapetsitters.com/pledge-professional-conduct/. 

Additionally, many of our members:

• Use cloud-based scheduling software giving consumers the flexibility and ease in scheduling the service they desire including online scheduling, walk tracking, and emailed care feedback that include photos

• Focus on continuing education for entire staff including the owner

• Offer the benefits of client and pet relationship building, support, transparency, consistency, education, and passion for their profession

• Experienced in handling emergency situations

•Conduct periodic background checks on their staff

• Have protocols and procedures in place to verify work is performed to company standards

• Are hands-on with their employees

•Encourage a positive company culture engaging staff and clients

•Are local small business owners

•Are safety focused with plans and preventative measures in place to ensure uninterrupted and proper pet care

• Provide open and professional communication before, during, and after service

More and more pet owners are using the services of professional pet sitters to take advantage of the benefits in-home pet care provides:

• Pets remain in the comfort of their home

• Diet and exercise routines are carried out on the time frames the pet owner specifies

• Travel for both owner and pet is eliminated

• Pets’ exposure to illness is minimized

• Untrained friends/family/neighbors need not be called

• In-home professional pet care provides added peace of mind.

As the pet-care industry grows, it is important that pet owners are more prudent than ever when selecting a pet sitter. More and more online pet-sitter directories are available, so it is important to research any site you are considering to find a pet sitter and pay special attention to the capabilities, experience and training of the service providers listed.

Consider these questions:

• Does the site have appropriate requirements for those pet care providers listing?

• Are the service providers listed professional businesses or does the site accept listings from kids, college students and other non-professional sitters?

• Does the site differentiate between professional and non-professional sitters?

The National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network is here to educate pet owners about responsible pet ownership and the benefits of professional pet sitting services. We provide local pet sitting professionals with a support network and share educational opportunities and tools. As part of our mission, we support local shelters and rescue groups in the effort to care for and find responsible homes for pets.

For more information about The National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network, visit http://ncapetsitters.com/. To find a local pet care professional, use the zip code search on the homepage.