By Diane Burroughs
Problem. You’re going on vacation or home for the holiday’s and you have to leave your parrot behind. Should you board your bird or hire a bird sitter? If you are weary of taking your bird somewhere for boarding when you leave for vacation, consider hiring a bird sitter to come to your home?
Most pet sitters care mostly for dogs and cats and may even be afraid of handling a parrot. So, what do you look for in a reliable bird sitter? You of course want someone whom you trust to be in your home and that will feed and water your pets, but a trustworthy bird sitter must also spend quality time with your parrots, take precautions to prevent illness or contamination and know how birds to determine if a bird is feeling ill.
First, lets explore what the benefits are of hiring an in home bird sitter.
- FAMILIARITY: Bird’s benefit from in home pet sitters because they get to stick to their routine, including feeling safe in their own cage and surroundings and eating their usual diet. Bird’s that aren’t used to getting out and being around other people or new situations will especially appreciate this sense of familiarity.
- ATTENTION: Your bird will receive daily attention while you are away – or as many visits as you wish to pay for.
- PEACE OF MIND: You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your parrot is being cared for by a professional rather than a neighbor or friend who may feel inconvenienced by your pets needs.
- HOME SAFETY: A professional bird sitter should be bonded to insure against theft. Professional bird sitters doe more than just caring for your parrots. They watch and stage your home to appear that someone is there. Bird Sitters bring in your mail or newspapers, rotate lighting, open and close window treatments and even waters plants.
- PET SAFETY: Bird’s are susceptible to deadly, contagious diseases, so boarding your parrot places it at risk of exposure. This risk is greatly minimized when you have a professional bird sitter to come you your home.
Second, where do you find a reputable bird sitter?
- Google it! Look for “Pet Sitting Services and your-town” or better yet, “Bird Sitter and your-town.“
- Ask your avian veterinarian or local bird club for recommendations.
- Contact national pet sitter organizations such as National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324) or Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222).
Third, determine what credentials and qualifications are important. Most pet sitters hire a team of assistants to fulfill pet sitting needs, especially during the holiday season.
- Ask about Commercial Liability Insurance
- Determine if the actual sitters who enter your home are bonded against theft.
- Ask about experience with parrots.
- What back up plan does the pet sitter use in case they get locked out or the weather turns nasty?
- Determine charges and dates of availability.