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Qualities to look for in a dog sitter

How do you find the perfect candidate for this job? Here are a list of things you might want to look for when you start chatting with carers that have quoted on your listing.

Experience

If previous experience and reviews/references are important factors for you maybe you should ask how much dog sitting experience they have. As well as asking about experience you can also ask whether they have a criminal record check (CRB/DBS), reviews from previous clients or references from employers, clients, etc. If they don’t have any of these then you’re within your right to request that they have them before you make your decision.

After every booking your carer has had through Tailster that client will have been asked to leave them a review, so most of the time there will be a couple of reviews there for you to consider.

 

Qualifications

You might want someone with a professional status or pet care qualifications. On Tailster we have carers with all sorts of levels of experience and qualification. If you’re looking for someone with pet care certificates then they will be highlighted as a ‘certified professional’. This will allow you to filter out the professionals if this will help you in making a decision.

 

Enthusiasm

First impressions often count enormously and although this probably shouldn’t be a definite dealbreaker, you want to find someone that comes across as passionate from the very start. When carers send you a quote they have the ability to send you a message alongside it. The majority of the time those carers that send you an enthusiastic and friendly message are usually just as enthusiastic throughout the whole process.

Reliability

We want you to find someone reliable through Tailster that you feel like you can call on again and again to care for your dog whilst you’re away. Again, first impressions count for quite a lot. If you’ve arranged to meet with someone and they turn up late or have to rearrange at late notice then this probably won’t fill you with much confidence for the future. If you are left with a few people to choose from we would suggest picking the most reliable as they aren’t likely to let you down like the person who has turned up late to the first meeting.

Recommendations  

It’s always good to find someone that has been recommended by a friend or family member. If you have had a Tailster carer recommended to you by someone you know and you want to get hold of them to see if they’d be available to help you, we can help you get in touch! We can help you send a Direct Quote Request to them so you can cut out receiving quotes from other carers and just receive one from your recommended carer instead.

 

Knowledge of the breed

Do the carers you’re chatting with have knowledge of the breed that you have? Although this isn’t essential, it might be worth checking whether they’ve cared for the same or similar breeds previously. This will give you an idea of whether they are familiar with the temperament and needs of your dog and breeds like him.

Does your dog approve?

Having a meet and greet is a great way of deciding whether you feel comfortable with a carer and maybe more importantly, whether your dog seems to take to them and feel comfortable. You want to be happy in the knowledge that you’re leaving your pooch happy and content with his new friend. After all, if your dog is happy, then you are happy, right?

How to find a trustworthy cat sitter

Want to spend the weekend out of town, but you are worried about your cat? You are probably considering hiring a cat sitter, and that’s pretty much the best choice you have. Yet, to ensure that your little pal is properly taken care of, you need to find a trustworthy sitter. There are a couple of things to consider and keep in mind, here at Tailster we have come up with what the process of finding a trustworthy cat sitter should look like.

Online Communication

The first step towards finding a great cat sitter is to go through the different applications and the profiles of the available cat sitters. Make sure to look for someone who you can trust. Have a look on Tailster for the cat sitters in your local area. Make note of their experience. Have they worked with pets before? Do they have an education or certification in pet caring? If not, have they been sitting cats before or is this their first gig? Do they have some reviews from former employers? What do their clients have to say for them? These are all things to take into account when making your initial choice of a cat sitter. Nevertheless, don’t stop at one. Instead pick a few candidates from the bunch and make sure to perform meet and greets to ensure you’re both happy with the arrangements. 

The Interview Process

Your cat sitter should be found near your location and be available during the time at which you will be away. Tailster shows you exactly how many miles away the carers are. During the meet and greet, make sure to take a note of a few things. First and foremost, the perfect candidate would be calm and sensitive towards your pet. You need to like them. However, make sure to also see how your pet responds to the sitter. If your cat doesn’t like your choice, you should pick another candidate. Still feeling nervous? Tailster insurance gives you the peace of mind that if there are any problems whilst you are away, you will always be covered and our customer service team are on hand to help!

Run a Background Check

Last, but not least, running a short background check won’t harm anyone. Social media has made it easier for people to learn more about their particular candidates. Plus, if your cat sitter is a professional, they will most likely have reviews from past clients that you can check out. Tailster customers are always encouraged to leave a review after care so check those out on the carers profile. And of course, don’t forget that consistency is key. Once you are set on using one particular cat sitter, if they are reliable and you are happy with their service, hire them again. This will help both you and your pet to feel comfortable and relaxed, getting used to the same sitter each time.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Five Questions You Might Want To Ask Your Potential Cat Sitter

When choosing a cat sitter, a meet and greet will be a great way of helping you make a final decision. But what questions should you ask? We are here to help you out! Here are some questions you should probably ask from your potential carer.

 

Do you have any prior experience?

If previous experience and reviews/references are important factors for you maybe you should ask how much cat sitting experience they have. As well as asking about experience you can also ask whether they have a criminal record check (CRB/DBS), reviews from previous clients or references from employers, clients, etc. If they don’t have any of these then you’re within your right to request that they have them before you make your decision. After every booking your carer has had through Tailster, the client will have been asked to leave them a review so most of the time there will be a couple of reviews there for you to look at and consider.

 

 

Do you have pet insurance?

Although a lot of our carers have their own pet care insurance, every booking made through Tailster is covered by our own insurance company so that’s one less thing to worry about. This covers you both for things like loss of keys and emergency vet care amongst other things. Here is a little bit of information about our insurance and how to go about getting anything sorted if there’s been an emergency.

 

 

Will you love my cat as much as I do?

Leaving your pet with a stranger is often quite a daunting task. It’s good to know that you’ve found someone who will treat and love your cat as if they were their own. You will find it easier leaving them if you know that their well cared for by a loving sitter. Tailster also go that little bit further for your piece of mind. Not only will we help you to find a loving pet carer, we also vet all our applicants so that you know you’re getting the best of the best.

 

 

 

How often will you be able to pop in and check on the cat?

When you’re making your decision you want to be sure that you and the carer are both on the same page. Make sure you tell them exactly what it is you’re looking for and make sure that they are the right person to provide the care. Agree on how many times you want them to pop over during the day and whether you require them to stay overnight. Adding all this info into your initial advert will also help as the carer will know straight away what it is you’re looking for in them.

 

 

If this initial booking goes well, could this become a regular thing?

Once you’ve found the purrrfect companion for your cat it would be great to know they are be your first point of call whenever you need pet care. That way your feline friend won’t have to go through meeting a new person every time you go away. At Tailster we can help with this by letting you make flexible bookings. This means that once you’ve found your perfect cat sitter and booked in with them once, you don’t need to keep booking in every time you need them. Just agree with the carer that care will be taking place and we will know to take payment as and when the carer fills out their service records.

 


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

10 Things to Look for in a Dog Walker

Dogs are active and social. They like to explore the world and they need regular exercise. Nevertheless, in our busy schedules we often find ourselves too busy to take our pets even for a short walk, and that’s exactly why dog walking services exist. Yet, finding the perfect dog walker is no easy task. That’s why we’ve gathered these 10 things to look out for in a dog walker to choose the perfect candidate for your four legged friend.

#1 – A Dog Lover

Whether a professional, or someone who’s just starting out a career as a dog walker, they must be a dog lover. Dog walkers need to have a genuine interest in looking after dogs. You can often tell if this is the case simply by watching the interaction between the walker and your own dog. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s definitely one of the most important!

#2 – Professional Attitude

All job roles require a certain degree of professionalism, even being a dog walker. You would not want to hire a dog walker that turned up late to your first meet and greet, as this might give off the impression that they are unreliable. You want a walker that is always on time (apart from exceptional circumstances), responds to messages promptly and provides you with daily updates during the walk.

#3 – Insured

Pet owners will be aware that you can never predict what might happen when looking after a pet, as unfortunately, accidents do happen. Having insurance in place might set a dog walker above others that might not. Quite often professional dog walkers will have their own pet care insurance and dog walkers who are just starting out might not. Booking a dog walker through Tailster covers you regardless, so individual insurance is not a necessity.

#4 – Flexibility

Usually, pet owners like to have a long term dog walker as it can take some time for their dog to feel completely comfortable with that person. Therefore, you want to be sure that the person you hire has flexibility and can cover walks at short notice if necessary. Having flexibility is essential for a profession like dog walking, as a pet owners schedule might change from week to week. Booking through Tailster allows pet owners to set up flexible requests to find carers in their area who are willing to work with a changing schedule. 

#5 – Someone Who Knows Their Way Around

You don’t want your dog walker to check their phone at every turn, as this might mean they take attention off your dog. Make sure that they are familiar with your local area. A great professional will know each and every dog park in the area, and will be able to travel across your neighbourhood safely. Using the Tailster App allows you to see exactly where your dog has been on their walk across town with the tracked walks feature – the tracked walks are date and time stamped and provide the distance. 

#6 – A Dog (Breed) Expert

Not being a dog care professional shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, you would want someone who is familiar with your dogs breed and able to respond to their needs. Certain breeds are prone to specific medical conditions, so its important for your walker to be aware of this and be able to spot symptoms should something arise. 

#7 – Intuitive

The perfect candidate would also be intuitive. You don’t need a dog whisperer, yet having someone that is able to understand what’s going on with your pet is the right way to go. Look for someone who is able to read and understand your dog and its needs.

#8 – Compassionate

When hiring the right dog walker, you want someone who is going to going to take a genuine interest in your dog’s welfare and be able to sympathise with its needs as well as yours – so if you do need that last minute favour or have that sudden pet emergency you’ll have someone there to understand. That’s why you ideally want someone who’s compassionate. 

#9 – Dedicated

Finding someone who is responsible and dedicated to their work is the right way to go. Having a dedicated walker by your side who is willing to learn the ins and outs of your dog’s routine and preferences goes a long way towards ensuring a great experience both for you and your pet.

#10 – Your Dog Loves Them!

Last but not least, your dog should be the decision maker. If your dog has issues with your dog walker of choice, chances are you’ll need to search for another candidate. But hey, dog walking is a growing industry, so you’ll always have another option. Meet and greets are a great way of seeing how a walker and your dog get along and are highly recommended. Using Tailster means that you can receive multiple quotes from local dog walkers, leaving you to decide who you’d like to contact.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Why choose a dog boarder over a kennel

When you are on a holiday, as much as you might hate it, you often need to leave your dog with a carer. The two options you have are to either go with a home dog boarder/sitter or to leave your four-legged pal at a dog kennel.

Both options have their pros and cons. Usually, dog kennels are the more popular option however, pet boarders and sitters are becoming increasingly popular. When having a dedicated professional take care of their dog, an owner can be comfortable that all of the specific requirements and routines of their pet are kept intact. Here’s why you should choose a dog boarder/sitter over a dog kennel.

The Limitations of a Kennel

First and foremost, as comfortable and diverse the dog facilities at a kennel can be, they are there for all dogs at the particular kennel. While it’s good for your pet to socialize, being put in a situation with completely new people and surrounded by a dozen different dogs might be stressful for them. On top of that, its daily routine will most likely suffer, due to the limitations of dog kennels. While some places do offer specific personal dog spaces and routine plans, they are usually quite expensive and certainly not worth the price compared to using a dog boarder.

The Benefits of using a Dog Carer

Hiring a dog carer for your four legged friend is usually the better option as it poses multiple benefits. For starters, your dog doesn’t have to be taken out of its comfort zone, if you decide on a dog sitter they will either visit regularly (if you have someone around at night) or stay at your home. Plus, dog carers tend to be either around the same price as kennels or can even be cheaper. With the growing use of technology and apps that connect pet carers with owners, such as our very own Tailster, the option for carers in your area has grown, giving you a wider range of choice.

 

The Type of Dog Carers

There are two main types of dog carers you can hire when on holiday. The first one is a dog sitter who will either come to take care of your dog a few times per day to keep it fed and exercised or live full time in your home to take care of your pet and follow normal day to day routine. The second is a dog boarder who will take care of your dog in their own home, so still giving your pet the home comforts they would get in their own home and giving them the routine they would usually get. Using a dog sitter or dog boarder can ensure your dog receives all the love and care it deserves whilst you’re away. 


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Finding the perfect cat sitter in London

Whether going on a holiday or if you just need someone to take care of your cat during your long working hours, finding a cat sitter is usually the better choice. Nevertheless, with so many cat sitting businesses in London and freelance professionals, how do you choose the best of the best? Here at Tailster, we have hundreds of cat sitters based all over the UK so we’ve learnt a thing or two. To help you out, we’ve put together some information on how to find the perfect cat sitter for you.

Know your budget. 

Before you start looking for the perfect cat sitter in London, you should know your limitations. Allocating a proper budget and knowing your price range can help you better determine how your research will go. Of course, you should never settle for someone that doesn’t meet your requirements based on a cheaper price. However, going for the most expensive cat sitting services only to find out that the price doesn’t match your budget is not the experience you are looking for. 

Go local, broaden your search later

It’s always better to hire someone that is close to your living quarters. That’s why, starting your search for the perfect pet sitting candidate should start in your area. On Tailster you can do this by entering your postcode and viewing a list of carers on a map within a 5 mile radius, or, pop a request on the site and we will do the hard work for you – providing quotes from local carers. Check out the local cat sitters and see whether they match your preferences. If they don’t you can broaden your search to slightly further afield.

Have a meet and greet

Last, but not least, cats are picky individuals. Make sure that your sitter is able to meet your pet beforehand. Animals tend to have an intuition that drives them and if your cat doesn’t like the individual you’ve chosen, then you must continue your search to make sure that everyone is comfortable. When your candidate meets your pet you will be able to see how they treat the animal in front of you and note any subtleties in their behavior, you’ll then have the opportunity to ask the all important questions to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Not sure what you should what exactly to look for in a cat sitter? We’ve put together some suggestions for you  here.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Tailsters 10 Family Friendly Dog Breeds

Every child begs their parents for a dog – they’re cute, entertaining and great company – we get it. A furry companion can teach our children about responsibility, care and much more. As a parent you have a little more to think about before agreeing to the constant nagging. First of all, which breed is right for you and your family?

As a whole, there is no right answer to the question of which breeds are the most child friendly dog breeds, nevertheless, considering the temperament of the dog, the size and energy levels of different breeds, there are some that are more suitable for a family life than others. To help you out on your quest to make your child happy, here are the top 10 child friendly dog breeds.

#1 – Beagle

Beagles are intelligent, sociable and ‘merry’ dogs. They are excellent with children and generally get on well with other dogs. Due to their history they can be a little harder to train but that’s something your children can help out with. If you choose this dog breed, their meals should be controlled and strict, as beagles have a tendency to easily become obese. Nevertheless, the beagle loves play time and walks, making it a great companion in terms of activity.

#2 – Poodle

The Standard, The Miniature and The Toy are ranked the second smartest dog after the Collie. They are also very energetic, sociable breeds no matter their size and don’t just require walks but also a lot of mental stimulation which your kids can help out with. Of all the sizes, the standard poodle is the most highly recommended for families as Miniature and Toy Poodles tend to have less patience with young children. Even though they need quite a bit of grooming they are also hypoallergenic dogs meaning those with allergies won’t be affected.

#3 – Golden Retriever

If there’s one dog that is considered to be the best family companion, it’s the Golden Retriever. The character of this dog breed is full of traits that make them perfect for kids. They tend to be extremely friendly, confident, patient with children and caring, and are also easy to train and are commonly used as assistance dogs. Being a retriever they tend to be drawn to water and mud so they may not be the best option if you like a spotless house!

#4 – Newfoundland

A lesser known breed, the Newfoundland, also known as the ‘gentle giant’, is a breed that is known for being loyal, intelligent, strong and calm. They can be easily trained and are great at water rescues due to their size, thick coat and webbed feet. The only slight issue might be their size and should really only be considered if you have slightly older children as they have a tendency to knock small children down quite easily.

#5 – Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise which translates to ‘Curly Lap Dog’ is an extremely affectionate breed that loves attention. They are gentle mannered, playful and sociable characters so would enjoy joining you out on weekend trips. They are great with children due to their playful personalities and need for attention. They need training from an early age that needs to continue throughout their lives so they don’t become territorial.

#6 – Boxer

Boxers are energetic, playful breeds that are great with kids due to their patience and protectiveness. They require a lot of exercise and attention to prevent them from boredom-associated behaviours such as chewing and digging. They are not aggressive dogs but can become very attached to it’s family so they need proper socialisation from a young age and throughout their lives.

#7 – Labrador

The Labrador is the UK’s most popular breed so it’s safe to say they are excellent family dogs. They are known for their energy, intelligence and gentle nature.  As well as being great escape artists they are known to follow their appetite and you will always find them around food – being very good at persuading you to give them something from your plate. They are easy to train and are commonly used as assistance dogs.

#8 – Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are known for their happy disposition and constant waggy tail. They don’t usually like being alone and will end up having a strong bond with one family member. The breed is extremely loyal, obedient and affectionate and makes a great family dog. Cockers can be easily stressed by loud noises and rough treatment so it’s important to teach your kids how to interact appropriately.

#9 – Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Don’t believe what you’ve read in the media. Staffies are friendly, enthusiastic and extremely affectionate dogs. They are adaptable to different homes and situations so are happy to come along on holiday with you or have a stay at a friends house. They may appear intimidating sometimes but with proper training from a young age they are an all round family dog, and commonly known as the “nanny dog” as they famously good with children!

#10 – Cross breeds/mixed breeds

We know this is quite generalised but we can’t forget about the cross breeds that are out there. A lot of dogs in the list above have been mixed with others and are great family pets. There are thousands of dogs out there in rescue homes that need a new home so don’t be put off if it’s not the full breed you hoped for – the important thing to remember is to make sure you do your research and ask as many questions as possible.

 


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Warning issued to dog walkers on beaches due to poisoned fish

A grieving pet owner is warning other dog walkers to keep a close eye on their pets when walking on beaches after several dogs have been poisoned.

Mike Hamilton took his dogs Hattie and Bramble for a walk to a beach in Norfolk just after Christmas.  Both dogs had been picking up and eating bits of washed-up fish, while his other dogs played in the sea. On the walk back to the car, Hattie the four-year-old retriever started vomiting, which Mike initially blamed on her swallowing seawater. But just an hour later, he found Hattie dead in the back of the car after driving home.

“What we found so distressing was the speed we lost Hattie – that was really shocking,” he said.

Bramble also became seriously ill. He has received antibiotics and rehydration treatment.

Another dog fell ill in a separate incident after eating a flatfish on Holkham beach, also in Norfolk.

Marine experts have said that Sea life including star fish as well as debris were washed up on beaches in Britain by the Atlantic Drift from tropical waters after storm Eleanor.

In response to the dog poisonings the Environment Agency is conducting water quality tests.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust advised dog walkers to keep pets under “close supervision”.

It warned dogs should not “eat anything washed up on the shore, as some dead animals can be toxic”.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

What questions should I ask a potential dog walker?

When finding a dog walker on Tailster we always advise you to meet up before you commit to booking through the site – this is a great way to see whether the walker is right for you and your dog and, to discuss extra detail about what you really need. The ‘interview’ process is one of the most important steps to take when hiring a dog walker, after all you’re searching for a reliable individual who is able to take care of your four legged friend. But what should you ask them? Well, here are a few questions to keep in mind when interviewing a dog walker.

 

Have you done this before?

While you are probably already familiar with the experience of your dog walker, this question is a must-ask. Based on the confidence in their response you should also be able to determine their trustworthiness and honesty.

Are you familiar with the dog parks in the area?

While this is not a qualifying factor for your final choice, having someone that is familiar with the dog friendly areas in your neighbourhood is always the better option. Make sure to ask them whether or not they know some good places they plan to hang out with your dog and in turn, tell them where you usually like to go. Don’t forget, with a Tailster dog walker they can access our GPS tracked walks so you can see exactly where your dog has been for its walk with a start and end time, recorded distance and also a date stamp!

What else do you do on a walk?

Dog walking is not just walking and the amount of exercise will vary depending on whether you decide to go for solo or group walks. Most dogs need regular exercise, which they often do via playtime activities so group walks may wear them out enough and they will not need a tennis ball to be thrown! If you decide to go with a solo walk then find out how the walker intends to give your pet the exercise it needs.

How much do you know about (insert-dog-breed-here)?

A dog walker is not required to be a complete dog expert – there’s a lot of breeds out there. Nevertheless, having a dog lover that understands a different behaviours and is keen to learn then it’s always a positive. Ask them what and how much they know about the breed of your dog during the interview.

Do you have any references?

Don’t forget that an experienced candidate will always have some happy clients t call and if they’ve had bookings through Tailster they may have reviews you’ll be able view on their profile. Ask them for contacts of past clients that can help you to make your final choice.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

10 Things to look for in a cat sitter

Going on a vacation? Live alone and need someone to take care of your cat? In both cases, you should be on the lookout for a cat sitter. Yet, finding the perfect individual is not that much of a straightforward process. That’s why we’ve gathered these 10 things to look for in a cat sitter to help you out.

#1 – A Cat Lover

The perfect cat sitter should be a cat lover. Period. You don’t want dog care specialists, you don’t want people who take care of other animals. The only thing you are searching for is someone who appreciates cats as much as you do. 

#2 – Responsive

The right candidate will be able to respond quickly to your calls. They should also be able to allocate time when you need it the most. Whether that would be a late night at the office or a vacation out of nowhere, you want someone who can take care of your four legged fur ball on short notice.

#3 – Genuine

Honesty is always a few steps ahead of most factors in any sales pitch. Make sure that the cat sitter of your choice is genuine and honest – you will then be able to properly assess whether or not they would be a good fit for your pet.

#4 – Professional

While cat sitting is a more personal matter, you should look out for those candidates with a professional attitude. People who understand that cat sitting is serious business are usually those who are going to take care of your cat properly.

#5 – Certification

On the topic of professionalism, you should always put those with certification ahead of other candidates. If the candidate is dedicated enough to go the extra mile to earn certification in cat care, it means that they are dedicated enough to take care of your cat professionally.

#6 – Insurance

Thankfully Tailster provide insurance for every booking that’s made through the site but if a carer has their own pet care insurance it’s always a good sign they are professional.

#7 – Sensitivity

Of course, don’t forget that you are looking for people who are sensitive and intuitive towards the feelings of your pet. A good cat sitter will be able to have a certain level of sympathy that will allow them to better respond to the wishes of your pet.

#8 – Experience

You shouldn’t turn away people just because they don’t have experience. However, someone with a proven cat sitting record is certainly the better option. That way, you can rest assured that they will be able to respond to the needs of your cat and understand each situation a bit better than people with no prior cat sitting experience.

#9 – Calm and Collected

A good cat sitter will also be calm and collected individual. Cats are very intuitive creatures themselves and things might go astray, if they notice that their carer is feeling some anxiety. Thus, you need someone that is able to keep things in check both with themselves and with your pet.

#10 – Your Cat Should Love Them

Last, but not least, having your cat test your candidate is the last check mark on the list. Unless your cat finds the individual of your choosing to be the proper one, then you must broaden your search. Of course, we at Tailster are here to help you out. Find the perfect cat sitter in your area with just a few clicks. Learn more here!


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.