4 facts about pet sitters and COVID-19

In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week, let’s take a look at a few things you probably didn’t know about this pet-care profession and how it’s been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did you know that March 7-13 marks the 27th annual Professional Pet Sitter Week? The week is a yearly observance created by Pet Sitters International to highlight pet sitting as a viable career option and to recognize professional pet-sitting and dog-walking businesses. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a unique impact on pet sitters and dog walkers—and the way they do business. In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week, here are four things you may not know about pet sitters:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more offerings from pet sitters and dog walkers.

While travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders reduced the need for vacation pet care during the pandemic, many pet-sitting and dog-walking companies have expanded their service offerings to meet their clients’ unique needs. You can take advantage of services such as pet taxi (transporting pets to and from veterinary and grooming appointments, for example), deep litterbox cleaning, and pet-enrichment visits for your pets while you’re busy working from home.

2. Pet sitting services have been vital for essential workers with pets.

While many pet parents have been able to work from home and spend more time with their pets over the last several months, essential workers—including doctors, nurses, and other first responders—have worked longer hours than perhaps ever before. Because pet sitting was deemed an essential service in most areas, these essential workers were able to rely on pet sitters and dog walkers for drop-in visits and other services while they were away from their pets.

3. Pet sitters have adopted new COVID-19 safety and sanitation practices.

While sanitation and safety have always been top concerns for pet-care professionals, pet sitters and dog walkers have implemented new sanitation practices and reasonable precautions to limit the spread of communicable diseases and/or cross-contamination between households. Be sure to ask any potential pet sitter you consider about their COVID-19 safety protocols!

4. Pet-sitting services will soon be in high demand—so book your pet sitter in advance!

When travel safely resumes and more people return to the office, it is anticipated that pet sitters will be in even higher demand—especially given the wave of pet adoptions—so don’t delay searching for a pet sitter to meet your family’s needs. Look ahead to late 2021 and early 2022 and reach out to your pet sitter now for any pet-sitting requests you may have.