Angie's List: Choosing a pet sitter - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Angie's List: Choosing a pet sitter

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MADISON (WKOW/ANGIE'S LIST) -- Peace of mind, that's what Peter and Erin Rusthoven say hiring a pet sitter has provided.

They know their three dogs are well cared for while they are away.

"In addition to her obviously caring for the dogs, she's also checking the house, bringing in our mail, watering plants, those types of things," Peter Rusthoven said. 

In a recent Angie's List poll, 80 percent of respondents have pets in their family.  That means a big decision, who's caring for their pet when they travel? 

Pet care providers say the nice thing about a sitter is that your pet gets to stay in their own environment.  Also, you get someone who is checking in on your house for security reasons and in case something goes wrong like a busted pipe.

"The client had just had a kitchen remodel done and had a built-in ice maker put into the island," sitter Becki Bradford said, talking about one such emergency.  "The ice maker developed a leak inside the cabinetry of the island so it wasn't noticeable in the kitchen itself, but a drip began through the ceiling of the floor beneath them, and we caught that fairly quickly so the damage was limited." 

Had she not been there, Bradford says it would have caused a lot of damage as it was an expensive repair already. 

Most professional sitters charge between $15 and $50 per visit, depending on the distance traveled, length of the visit and duties required.

Visits can range from as little as 20 or 30 minutes to staying in the house overnight.

"When hiring a pet sitter, first and foremost you want to know how they get along with your pet," Angie Hicks, with Angie's List said.  "Have them over to your home, watch them interact with your pet and see how they do."

Also, because they are going to be in your home and you're trusting your pet with them, you want to make sure they are reputable so be sure you are interviewing the person that is going to be taking care of your pet.  That will insure your pet feels bonded and comfortable with the care provider.

Angie's List says you also want to make sure your sitter has an emergency plan, insurance and your vet information.

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