Do you need a bird sitter who’ll look after your pet while you’re having a hectic schedule or traveling for a long time? If yes, you may be wondering how to choose a bird sitter.
They’re coming to your home and will have access to it. Therefore, you need to choose one that’s professional, trustworthy, and knowledgeable enough to handle emergencies.
So, in this article, we’ll share with you:
- Some tips on choosing a reliable bird sitter
- Where and how to find people offering parrot sitting services
- How to prepare when a bird sitter is coming to your home
So, if you’re looking to hire an avian pet sitter, check out this helpful bird-sitter hunter guide.
Tips on How to Choose a Bird Sitter
Leaving your bird behind when you need to travel or be away from home for several days is stressful. As a loving bird owner, you may worry about who will look after your bird.
And if you do find some bird-sitting options, you may go through a dilemma of whether you’re going to entrust your home and your pet bird to a stranger or not.
We understand that there are lots of setbacks. But we have some tips on how to choose a bird sitter that’s trustworthy and reliable.
1. Conduct an Interview Via Call
Make time to talk with potential candidates via phone or video chat. It’d be even better if you can have a long conversation to get a good sense of his or her personality and character.
Then make sure to ask him about the following:
Background and experience
It’s crucial to know the candidate’s experience, education, and training. So don’t be afraid to ask him how long has he been in business and what’s his level of experience in bird sitting.
It’d be also helpful if you’d pose two emergency scenarios and ask about his backup plan if something prevents him to come to your home.
You can’t negotiate further if you can’t afford the services so you need to ask about his rates and cancellation fees.
If you want to hire a qualified and professional bird sitter, you can expect quite a high amount.
The next step on how to choose a bird sitter is to ask about the services he or she offers.
You must also ask if he had special training or certifications and insurance in case unforeseen emergencies happen.
You also need to look for an agreement or contract which entails the terms of payment, inclement weather policies, cancellation, vet release form, and emergency contact.
2. Arrange An In-Home Consultation
Before booking a bird-sitting date, you have to meet the candidate to get to know him better.
It’ll also give you the opportunity to introduce him to your bird and inform him or her about your pet’s specific needs, the routine, and where its supplies are kept.
This way, you can also see how he interacts with your bird and if they get along well.
Don’t forget to ask for references and check them in person. You’ll have to entrust him to your home and your pet bird so you need solid recommendations.
3. Test the Sitter
If possible and there’s still time, try hiring that bird sitter for one day before finally committing and ask him to email or send you photos or videos.
Try to observe on the first day if he/she comes on agreed-upon times and gives you a detailed report about your bird’s behavior. If not, you have a reason to back out.
Check the bird cages too if it was cleaned, including the treats and food you left if it was untouched. And if you have cameras around your home, monitor if your bird was fed on time or not.
Then, see how your bird is when you return and if it works out well for you two, you can proceed with the contract.
Now that we’ve discussed how to choose a bird sitter, let’s dive deeper into what their services entail.
What Does a Bird Sitter Offer
A professional bird sitter must offer reliability and give you peace of mind while you’re away. It’s their job to take care of your bird in the comfort of your home.
Bird-sitting services include feeding your bird, socializing with him, and cleaning the cage if necessary.
You can also your bird sitter to groom or bathe your bird and provide mentally-stimulating activities or plays.
Professional bird sitters must be trained in first aid and they must have a license or offer client references.
Some pet sitters also come to their client’s homes to water plants and take mail and newspapers.
They also make the house look live by opening and closing blinds or windows and turning the lights on.
Where to Find a Bird Sitter Near Me
In some communities, people offer parrot-sitting services to make a living. The best way to find a reliable bird sitter is by seeking firsthand recommendations from your friends, relatives, or neighbors who also own a bird.
You can also ask your vet and local humane societies if they have employees who work as part-time bird sitters. Try checking out the bulletin boards at local stores or your vet’s office for ads too.
You can also search for bird sitters online. Neighborhood and community websites or Facebook groups or pages are good places to start looking for suitable candidates.
But professional pet-sitting associations like the Pet Sitters International and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters have a more reliable member list.
Care.com is also a convenient way to find the best and most trusted bird sitters near you.
Just submit your bird sitter needs, read parent reviews and schedule a tour at your most convenient time. You can find hundreds of local listings and the highest-rated bird-sitting professionals there.
If there’s a bird club in your area, there’s a high chance that they have a list of pet bird sitters too.
But if you can’t find one, a friend, neighbor, or family member who gets along with and can take care of your bird and be reliable will do.
How to Make Bird Care Easier for the Sitter
Before leaving your pet to the bird sitter, you need to prepare the following to avoid misunderstanding and ensure a smooth bird sitting experience:
List the times and dates of your departure and return, as well as the dates you anticipate the pet sitter visiting.
This may seem apparent, but basic information like this is frequently left out of instructions and can lead to misunderstandings.
For instance, if your trip is from October 18 to October 21, inform the bird sitter if you’ll clean the cage and provide the food on the very first day.
And if you’re coming home on the 21st early, let him know if your bird also needs care on that day or if you’ll be coming late.
You also need to give your contact details, including your email and mobile number.
Furthermore, it’s helpful to at least provide the name of your campground or hotel as well as your contact information for the friend or relative you are visiting.
In case the sitter has any inquiries regarding your bird, add the names of your friends or family who are familiar with your pets.
And don’t forget to tell him about your veterinarian’s name. It’s necessary to notify the veterinarian as well about who will be looking after your birds while you are away.
Leave a signed authorization form for the pet sitter to take your bird to the veterinarian if necessary. Then, inform the doctor and the parrot sitter if there are any financial limitations or care requirements due to a bird’s known ailment.
There are times the pet sitters aren’t comfortable letting a bird out of its cage, especially if your avian companion is skittish or naughty.
So, prepare your bird’s environment so it can be cared for without the need to open the cage.
Detail out the amount and types of pelleted bird feed, fruits, and vegetables your bird may eat. And if you’re away for a long time, it’d be easier if you’d leave money so he can buy fresh produce.
Note the food’s brand, size, and flavor in addition to the place you buy it. A pet sitter might not know to inquire at the vet’s office about your food because not all pet stores offer all brands.
You should leave enough food for however long you intend to be gone. But it’s always a good idea to be ready for anything.
If you use tap water, bottled water, or filtered water to fill water bowls or bottles, let your pet sitter know. Emphasize that bowls should be cleaned and that water should be changed regularly to prevent the growth of slime.
You also need to inform your bird if you mist or bathe your bird regularly.
It’s a crucial part of your bird’s grooming routine but if your pet has special grooming needs, the bird sitter must know about it so he can get the job done the right way.
Let your bird sitter know where you keep the cage-cleaning supplies, how often you expect him to clean it, and what cleaner you use when cleaning up messes.
Keep the trash can accessible and leave extra garbage bags and notes about when trash pickup can be expected.
Don’t forget to let him know where your extra paper towels and paper towel is and how to use them.
If your bird is not easy to handle, it’d help if you’d give a set of instructions on how to deal with your avian companion.
You must include the bird snacks, treats, toys, and music your pet enjoys, the words your pet responds to, and other tips on how to socialize with your bird.
Other Options Side from Getting a Bird Sitter
If you’re not comfortable giving your keys to the bird sitter you just met, there’s another option for you.
You can either ask the bird sitter to bring your bird to their home or bring it by yourself to a reputable boarding facility.
It can either be a pet store, an avian veterinary clinic, or a person who’s willing to take your pet into their home.
However, you need to take with you a recent vet exam result or certificate of health from your avian vet to ensure your bird does not carry any contagious disease.
Look for the nearest potential location. You can ask other bird owners, bird clubs, or pet sitters for recommendations.
Aside from checking out the border’s prices and services, make sure their facility is clean and there’s a separate area for boarded birds and those for sale.
However, it’d be best if each boarded birds have their own room. But that’s not always the case.
Bring your bird to the establishment at least a few hours beforehand so that it has time to settle in and you can talk to the boarder about your avian pet’s needs.
Give him/her detailed feeding instructions, your contact information, and your veterinarian’s name. Don’t forget to specify when you will return and pick up your bird for a smoother transaction.
How to Choose a Bird Sitter: Final Tips
If you value your avian pets, you surely want to ensure you get a trustworthy and responsible bird sitter that will tend to their needs.
You can ask your bird sitter to leave notes or send you photos and videos of your pet via email or text to see how it’s doing.
And if you have a doorbell or security camera in your home, you can check it to see if he or she comes on time.
If he/she ticks all these boxes and has solid references and experience, then you can have peace of mind, knowing your pet bird is well cared for.
It’s good to be skeptical and cautious but most bird or parrot sitters are avian-lovers. So, your bird’s sitter may become a trusted friend for you in time.
And that ends our guide on how to choose a bird sitter. We hope it’d be helpful for you when searching for a professional parrot sitter that’ll take good care of your pet while you’re away.