Spring is here and summer is just around the bend. Statistically speaking, chances are you’ve got a trip planned.  According to a recent AAA Travel survey, 100 million families – approximately 4 in 10 adults – will be taking a family vacation this year.

Since nearly 85 million families own pets according to a 2018-18 National Pet Owner Survey, finding some form of pet sitting for your cat or dog is something you’ll probably want to figure out sooner than later. Whether it’s dog or cat boarding or a pet sitter who comes into your home, it’s not always as easy as you think to find the right option for your pet.

A nightmare pet sitting story with a happy ending

Recently, Orange County’s first cat café, Catmosphere Laguna, posted an incredible story on their Instagram and Facebook channels about a kitty cat named Guinness. A relative was taking care of Guinness while his cat parents were away. Unfortunately, Guinness got out and was missing for over a week when he showed up on the porch of the home of Catmosphere Laguna’s owner. (And some people don’t think cats are smart!).

Thankfully, this story ended on a very happy note. Guinness and his cat parents were reunited. But it could have so easily ended up on a very unfortunate note. One such story recently happened in San Clemente.

Rolling the pet sitting dice

According to the local news, a family of five who hired a pet sitter to watch their dog while they were away. They thought they’d hired someone they could trust but unfortunately, when they returned home earlier than planned, they found the pet sitter was in the process of stealing their money and belongings. Perhaps the most upsetting part is that the pet sitter knew their father was battling stage IV brain cancer.

Pet sitting done the right way

Whether you have hired a pet sitter or asked a neighbor, friend, or relative for pro bono pet sitting services, you are entrusting your pets AND your belongings with them. We owe it to our beloved pets to do our homework when finding the right pet sitting option.

While it may be tempting to use a relative, neighbor, or friend because they are free, you often get what you pay for. Make sure your cousin or neighbor is actually able and willing to focus on your pet while you are away. If you wish to hire a pet sitter, make sure you fully assess your pet sitting choices. PetMD provides sound pet sitting advice for those seeking the right pet sitter and warning signs of a bad pet sitter.

After all, nobody wants to come home to a missing pet or a robbed home!