Many of us take time off and travel for the holidays to visit family and friends. But what happens if you can't take your four legged friends along on your journey?
For Peter and Erin Rusthoven, hiring a pet sitter to come into their home and check on their three dogs daily gives them peace of mind that their pets are being 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," Erin said.
Peter adds, "Plus, they love her."
A pet sitter may also notice if something isn't quite right while you're away.. Such as a busted pipe, or another problem with your home.
"We do a quick walk around outside the house," Becki Bradford, a pet sitter, said. "We make sure gates are closed if we have yard play scheduled with the dogs. We check and make sure windows and doors look secure. Part of our training program is teaching our staff what to look for that something might be out of place."
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. 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.
Angie's List suggests pet sitters instead of boarding, especially for cats, because they tend to be creatures of habit, and more comfortable at home.