Guest Post by Gingr: 4 Key Considerations When Choosing Care for Your Pets

The global pet market is worth a staggering $246 billion, and the sector is expected to continue growing. With this growth comes more options for the food, toys, accessories, and care you can give your pet. So, how do you know you’re getting the best of the best when there are so many pet businesses out there?

Finding reliable, high-quality pet care is key for any pet owner, whether you need a skilled veterinarian or a devoted pet sitter. Taking the time to find a company with incredible staff and safe, comfortable facilities will grant you peace of mind when you’re away from your pet.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a pet care service. Let’s get started!

1. Services Offered

First, determine which services you need so you can research providers in your area. This may depend on your schedule, budget, and your pet’s temperament. 

Here are some common services and why you might choose them:

  • Dog walking: Dog walkers pick up your pet and take them for walks during the day. Consider this option if you can’t walk your dog mid-day, or it need to go out before you can get home in the evening.
  • Pet sitting: Pet sitters typically visit your home to feed and care for your pets. You may need a daily pet sitter if you’re away from home for most of the day. Using a pet sitter tends to be better for more sensitive species like cats, birds, and guinea pigs than boarding.
  • Pet boarding or daycare: Drop your pet off at a facility where they’ll be fed, monitored, and cared for. Use boarding services if you need to leave your pet at the facility overnight and choose daycare services if you just need care for a portion of the day.
  • Pet grooming: Groomers offer many services including bathing, haircuts, nail trims, and ear cleaning. Consider a grooming service if your pet has a high-maintenance coat or you can’t groom your pet at home. 
  • Training: Pet trainers teach your pet to obey commands and behave appropriately. You may need a pet trainer if you lack the experience, time, or expertise needed to train your pet on your own.
  • Veterinarian: Vets can treat your animal’s medical issues. You’ll need a vet for routine wellness checks, treating minor illnesses and injuries, and navigating more serious problems.

Some businesses may offer more than one of these services. For example, a dog boarder may also employ dog walkers and an in-house groomer. Ask about or browse companies’ services to see what your options are.

2. Your Pet’s Needs

Every animal has its own quirks and unique personality. As your pet’s owner, it’s up to you to understand their needs and determine which services and care providers can address them. Special needs to consider and make your pet care provider aware of include:

  • Separation anxiety, which could rule out services like pet boarding. You’ll need caregivers who can go above and beyond to promote your pet’s emotional wellness.
  • Medical conditions, particularly those that require extra attention regularly (e.g., your senior cat has diabetes and needs daily insulin shots).
  • Allergies or dietary restrictions that dictate what kinds of foods, treats, and medications your pet can take.
  • Socialization preferences such as whether your pet prefers to be alone or engage in group activities with other pets.
  • Behavioral issues like aggression or shyness. Pet sitters and daycares need to know if you have an aggressive dog or a timid cat that tends to hide under the couch.

At this point, you should also consider your needs. Decide how often you will need care and how different services fit into your budget. Additionally, look for facilities located in a convenient, accessible location near your home or workplace.

3. The Company’s Policies and Values

Your pet care provider should align with more than just your budget. Find a provider you and your pet are compatible with by diving deeper into the business’s policies, credentials, and values.

Start by browsing the provider’s website and online reviews from their clients. For example, to find out how to book an appointment with a dog groomer, view their late and cancellation policies, and skim their full list of services. These details are essential for helping you decide whether the provider is the right fit, but you may need to dig deeper by setting up a call or meeting and asking questions like:

  • Do you have a plan for common incidents (e.g., pet injury, altercations with other animals, a dog slipping away on a walk)? Accidents happen, and animals can be unpredictable when they are in new environments or around new people—just make sure the caregiver knows what to do in these situations.
  • What licenses or certifications do you hold? Many pet care positions like sitters or groomers do not require a license, but those with formal training may be better equipped to look after your pet. Both veterinarian technicians and veterinarians must be licensed, and vets must hold D.V.M. or V.M.D. degrees.
  • Is your business insured? Having pet business insurance shows that the company is responsible and committed to providing quality care. Insurance will cover any accidents or injuries that occur while the pet is in their care (i.e., vet fees and other costs won’t come out of your pocket).
  • Do you require and track other animals’ vaccination status, illnesses, etc. to keep my pet safe? Vaccines for diseases like rabies, parvovirus, and distemper protect public health and other animals.It’s essential that pet care providers require up-to-date vaccination records to keep all clients healthy and happy. For example, a dog daycare might explain that they use software like Gingr that sends alerts whenever an animal’s vaccines expire to avoid lapses.

If you are passionate about working with businesses that truly care about animal welfare and promote social good, research corporate social responsibility initiatives, cause marketing campaigns, or nonprofit partnerships the business has held. For example, 360MatchPro’s cause marketing guide outlines an example in which a dog grooming business partners with a local animal shelter to adopt more pets. 

4. The quality of the facility

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of pet care providers, you should try to visit the facility or speak to the caregiver before making a final decision. First, look for high employee engagement that shows staff are dedicated to and enjoy their jobs. For example, dog daycare employees should be playing with and petting dogs, proactively solve problems, effectively communicate with each other, and connect with customers in a friendly way.

Next, check the state of the facility itself. Are floors, bowls, kennels, bathtubs, and other equipment clean and in good condition? Are household hazards like medications, plants, and cleaning products kept out of reach from pets? Additionally, note any additional amenities like a shaded outdoor playing area, comfortable beds, or gentle drying equipment for nervous pets.

You can’t always bring your pets with you or treat their health problems yourself—that’s why it’s essential to find pet caregivers who offer next-level services to your animals. While finding a provider who will treat your pet like one of their own may involve some trial and error, these strategies will help you find the perfect fit.

Casey Dorman

Hi, I’m Casey! I’m the Sales Manager at Gingr software. Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in Colorado with my wife and dog, Dexter.  Our hobbies include hiking, skiing, and visiting local breweries.