How to Help Pet Owners Find a Pet Sitter
As the legislative and advocacy voice for the responsible pet trade, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) supports measures that secure the availability of healthy and happy companion animals. We work with lawmakers on standards related to animal welfare and health, consumer protection, animal ownership and companion animal availability.
However, not everything can be solved through law and regulations. Ensuring responsible pet professionalism and pet ownership is often best done in the private sector. PIJAC worked with animal care experts on voluntary standards of care for groomers as well as for breeders and distributors of small animals. We host on our website public-facing and retailer-focused standards of care and zoonoses prevention education documents, and our Fish & Wildlife Services-partnered Habitattitude effort educates the public on how to prevent their pet from becoming an invasive species.
PIJAC also supports other groups’ efforts towards education and standards. In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week (March 4-10), we are especially proud to highlight how PIJAC member Pet Sitters International (PSI) is helping American pet owners understand how to find a professional pet sitter.
Education for pet owners
PSI advises owners to ask a whole series of questions to professional pet sitters. For example, does your pet sitter have insurance? If a sitter comes into your home and accidentally causes damage, or your dog gets into a fight with another dog while on a walk, insurance protects you and them.
Many people use entrepreneurial apps to find a pet sitter. If you decide to hire a stranger through an app, do they have references and a clean criminal record? If they are going into your home without you present, you don’t want to risk your valuables disappearing.
Concerns also exist for your pet. Is a sitter trained in pet first aid in case an emergency arises? Do they have clear protocols in place should a pet require emergency care beyond first aid?
PSI encourages consumers to ask these questions—and you should expect professional pet sitters to be able to answer them affirmatively.
Relying on the experts is good personal and public policy
We at PIJAC are the regulatory, lawmaking and policy experts when it comes to the responsible pet trade. Whether it’s pet sitting, zoonoses prevention or environmentally sustainable ornamental fishing, we rely on experts in the field to ensure we’re guided by the very best in professional and consumer standards.
Most of what PIJAC addresses on behalf of pet sitters are taxes and fees that unfairly target these hard-working entrepreneurs. We are therefore grateful to PSI’s experts, whose creation of Professional Pet Sitters Week more than two decades ago highlights a critical component of the human-animal bond. Like everyone else in the trade, they encourage the highest of professional pet care standards and consumer education. This is not only good for those who have pets as their responsibility; it also means that issues which might otherwise take up scarce public resources through the regulatory or lawmaking process are handled long before they become problems.
Mike Bober is president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). PIJAC members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists and other trade organizations.