Hiring a pet sitter

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 11:43 am


The drive to VA is getting to be a bit much for me these days, so I'm trying to find a reliable and trustworthy in home petsitter (pigsitter). I'm not sure what questions I need to ask when I interview them or how much instruction they will need.

Anyone have experience in this area? Should I type up instructions for each of the pigs? Should I call them for updates daily during the trip?

I've never left my pigs with strangers before, so I have no idea what to expect. I'm so scared I'm going to forget something. Any advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

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PIGGYMOMMY2

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 12:10 pm


I am wondering the same thing. I am in NW NJ and noticed you are in NE PA. I usually have family members petsit as I have no idea where to even look to find anyone else.

If you'd like, let me know about what town you are located in and I may be able to help depending on when you need the help and where you are.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 1:11 pm


We don't have any family around here to help with these things. We are in E. Stroudsburg, looks like you're almost an hour away from us. I couldn't ask you come all the way out here. But thank you so much for offering, very kind of you.

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 1:59 pm


Ask the vet if they know anyone reliable.

EllieMom

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 2:01 pm


Or maybe call a local rescue. They might have a list of people who foster and who might be able to help out petsitting. Especially if you could give the rescue a donation in return.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 2:10 pm


Thats a great idea about the rescue. We would give them a nice donation, no problem there. I will also call some of our vets to see if they know anyone.

I did have a lady call me back that works around here. She wants to come out and meet the pigs to get an idea of what's involved in taking care of them. She just got back from spending a few weeks in LA with Noah's Wish helping out with the rescued animals.

I don't want to rush into picking someone but I don't want to be so picky that I lose someone good.

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guineagal92

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 3:10 pm


Mainly I would look at how they interact with your pigs. If they don't know evreything about them, don't condemn them right away! Make sure they actually like the pigs!

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Wheekers3

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 3:25 pm


And yes, do write instructions.

I am doing that now, and trying to not sound anal and lenghty so things get lost in the digression. Last time they watched my rats, I had four pages of instructions. This year they are getting a pig who requires medication 4 x daily and good monitoring. I am paying what I would pay a Vet. - $16.00 / day.

Be sure to include the Vet's name and phone number. Also call the Vet and let them know your pet is being watched for you, and give them permission to treat them within your guidelines.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 3:31 pm


Oh, I hadn't even thought of telling my vet and giving permission. Luckily none of my piggies need meds right now so thats one less thing to freak out over while I'm gone. Thanks for the tip!

I'm trying to keep my instructions simple. I find it hard not to explain everything in great length. I will also be giving the sitter phone numbers where they can reach me if need be.

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 6:44 pm


I don't really have any experiences as "hiring" a pig-sitter, it just so happens we've delegated my parents to be caretakers when I am out of town, or Ben to step up if all else fails.

Ditto to what Wheekers3 said about the vet too. All of my parents’ and Ben's name are on the vet records, and their numbers for secondary contact.

I wrote down the daily piggy routine on the whiteboard, each had a little subscript as to amount or quantity notes to them. (cups, unlimited and etc...)

I also labeled everything, especially I still got Cavy Perf. along with Cavy Cuis, and timothy along with alfalfa. Mojo is still on 50/50 diet with the pellets and hay, and I am sure Ben cannot tell the difference between those pellets and hay...

I also wrote down phone numbers to the vet, Leebee's phone number, a bag of CC, anti-septic solution for little open wounds, and tons of the basics necessities (pellets, hay, and carefresh!)

I am sure this experience will be a bit nerve wrecking, so good luck to you, and let us know!!

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 6:47 pm


uh... sorry, double posting...

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 31, 2006 6:52 pm


It's killing my nerves but it's worth it for my babies. I will keep this thread updated. Hopefully it will help folks in the future who want to use a pigsitter.

If my experience with them is a good one, I will post their business name for anyone who may want to use them.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:31 pm


Just in case anyone cares, here's an update:

I interviewed a sitter yesterday. She seems nice, loves animals. She sits for a special needs ferret that needs shots frequently. She's only charging me $22 a day for all the piggies (6).

She doesn't know much about them, but is very excited to learn all about them. She's gonna check out GL for info. I ordered a Health Record book from Lynx for her to reference while I'm away.

We don't leave until mid June, so she will have some time to research things and ask questions.

Would it seem crazy if I baked some cookies for her as a "thank you" if it goes well?

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richardsdm
All for the Hogs

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:53 pm


I give our pigsitters free range of the house and access to the pantry! Of course they are close friends and run the rescue we are a part of so my method may be a little extreme. Although I was amused by a note I found upon returning, "Pigs were fine, but I couldn't figure out how to use the remote to the TV." Sigh.

Cookies would be fine and greatly appreciated. Alienmermaid was a petsitter for about six months and tips (cookies or money) always get you better service!

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:11 pm


Thanks richardsdm, I didn't want to seem over the top.

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:12 pm


cavyslave8, you are just so sweet! I didn’t get any cookies wen I was dog-siting for my neighbors last summer.
I am sure your petsitter would be thrilled to get some cookies and goodies form you. If the sitter proves to be a fitting and suitable one, I think it doesn’t hurt to establish a longer-term relationship with her either.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:16 pm


Momo, people should be giving you cookies anyway!

I would love to have a long trusted relationship with a sitter.

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balex

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:19 pm


I used to have a small petsitting company.

I recommend that you ask her to keep a journal/log for you about your animals while you are away. It doesn't have to be too detailed but noting changes in behavior/eating habits, fun things they do, etc.

We used to do this for our clients and they really appreciated it.

Definitely leave detailed instructions about their care and the routines they are used to, especially if this person doesn't have a lot of experience with guinea pigs.

cutemomomi
Obey My Authority

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:22 pm


Yeah, that's alright, she was probably doing me a favor too, you know how I binge...

But I did get to spend a lot of time with a dog daily for 3 weeks, and it was almost a "therapeutic experience." Ever since I lost my Meimei (the poodle), I've started to doubt and question my ability to care for a dog... I think all pet owners go through that phase some way or another after a loss; it’s just that it was a particularly long mourning for me, about 3 years. Well, I am slow.

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cavyslave8
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:25 pm


Thats a great idea (the journal) balex. I will do that.

Momo, I'm sure any dog would be lucky to live with you. I'm sorry you are still mourning poor Meimei.

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