How to choose a pet care provider

How to choose a pet care provider 1

This is the information CEO and Founder Carmen Rustenback of the IBPSA referred to during her appearance on February 4. We will have her back on before vacation season!

Whether a pet sitter or pet boarding facility, make sure you know who is caring for your family member. Enclosed you’ll find a series of questions to ask when interviewing a potential pet care provider. Are there quite a few questions? You bet! But better to have asked too many rather than too few when it comes to your pet’s safety. The questions are also available as a handy downloadable PDF which can be printed and distributed as a trifold for sharing – perfect for concerned citizen groups and for shelter adoption packets.

What Questions Should You Ask When Choosing a Pet Care Provider?

  • Is the pet care services provider a member of a professional trade association like IBPSA? How long has the provider been in business?
  • If the provider is “away care”, that is a service not in your home such as a pet boarding or day care facility, pet salon, or a pet sitter’s own home, have you toured the premises to see if it is clean, sanitary, and secure?
  • What types of cleaning products does the provider use and are they pet safe?
  • If the provider is a pet care boarding or daycare facility, are there security fences around the boarding area?
  • Does the provider have an evacuation plan for both on-site and off-site evacuations?
  • Does the provider have a fire safety or abatement program? And, if so, how often is it checked?
  • If a pet boarding or daycare facility, does the provider have someone on-site at all times?
  • If the provider is “away care” are the premises climate controlled with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter?
  • What type of animal care education and training does the provider and, if applicable, the provider’s staff receive?
  • What is the provider-to-pet ratio.  For example, how many pets will a pet sitter be caring for at one time or how many pets per employee does a boarding or daycare facility staff for?
  • If “away care”, does your cat have its own condo? Is the cat area away from dog activity and barking?
  • If “away care”, does your dog have its own run or suite, or will your pet be housed in a crate?
  • If housed in a crate, how frequently are the dogs let out for exercise and elimination?
  • If in a run, do the dogs have an indoor and outdoor portion?
  • Will your dog be with other dogs not related to your pet, and how much contact will there be with other dogs?
  • If dogs will be with other dogs, does your provider temperament test the dogs being put together?
  • Does the provider separate dogs being put together such as in daycare into groups by size, age, and temperament?
  • If you are not supplying food, what type of food will your pet receive?
  • Does the provider monitor how much your pet eats and if your pet’s eliminations are normal?
  • What if your pet requires medication while with the provider, how will those be administered?
  • What other services does the provider offer?
  • Can your pets go for a nature walk, play Frisbee or ball, and get a bath?
  • If your dog requires grooming, what options does the provider offer?
  • Does the provider have a dedicated grooming area for the pets to reduce stress during the process?

For a print version of these questions to have with you when interviewing a pet care facility download the PDF (above).

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How to choose a pet care provider 2

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