When we were establishing Fluff, we asked ourselves, "What would we want our perfect pet sitter to look like?" This question might conjure different figurative (or real) people in your mind, as it did ours, but there were some qualities that appeared in each pretend pet sitter we could imagine; they were all caring, professional, and knowledgeable. Taking these three key aspects into consideration, Fluff designed its own hiring and training process. At the end of these processes, you have a Fluff Certified Sitter. Here's how we make that happen...
Hire for attitude, train for skill!
At the end of the day, there are just some qualities you can't teach. We believe that "caring" is one of them. That is why we search for true believers of superior animal care during our hiring process.
We can ensure that each sitter comes to the table with a genuine love of animals by first adding a stipulation or two. For example, each applicant must have at least 5 years of animal care under their belt before they send in a resume. If we pursue interviews with our applicants, some of our first questions are about how pets have impacted their lives and what their motivations are for becoming a pet sitter. God forbid we hire someone who wants in on the pet sitting industry just for the glamour!
The first rule of professionalism is to be trustworthy. We can't always trust how we feel about an applicant, but we sure can ask them to fill out a background check. And we do! After an applicant successfully passes our interview rounds, we ask them to follow through with a full criminal and driving background screening.
Once we discover that an applicant is squeaky clean, we then begin the training phase to make them...drum roll please...a Fluff Certified Sitter! It is during this first phase of training that we continue to emphasize the importance of professionalism and what it looks like as a Fluff Certified Sitter.
At this point in training, our potential sitters learn about how they should conduct themselves in your home and with your pet, what it means to go the extra mile, and how to handle more delicate situations with your furry loved ones. They also learn the importance of delivering quality service EVERY SINGLE TIME.
The final, and perhaps most important aspect of being a Fluff Certified Sitter, is the knowledge base that comes with the title.
Though most potential sitters already arrive with a wealth of knowledge and experience, we train and retrain just to ensure that our sitters know the ins and outs of watching your pet. We call these "Bare Bones Skills" and they include; choosing the correct serving sizes when feeding pets, how to safely and hygienically pick up feces or clean litter boxes, bathing and brushing techniques, and how to safely trim nails. We also cover how to give oral medications and injections.
Following that, we teach our potential sitters the basics of pet training. These lessons include how to teach your pet basic commands through positive reinforcement, animal behavior, and the importance of consistency when training animals.
Most important to our sitters and clients, however, is the abundance of safety and emergency training we put our potential sitters through. Some of the offerings in our safety training are:
- Potential warning signs in animals
- How to treat animal bites
- What to do in case of injured, lost, or aggressive pets
- How to handle a potential break in while pet sitting
- Taking and recording animal vital signs
- How to handle a pet during seizure or shock
- Animal wound care
- Treatment of choking animal
- How to perform CPR for a pet
Making it Stick
Though we like to think our training regime is impressive, we know it doesn't mean a thing if our applicants can't prove they've walked away better off for it. So, before we can deem each of our sitters Fluff Certified, we place them through a written and practical application assessment. If they fail our assessment, they are allowed to reattempt after one week, but are allowed no more than three attempts to pass.
After passing, they officially become Fluff Certified Sitters! All Fluff Certified Sitters can maintain their title by completing followup training every three months, just to make sure their knowledge stays fresh and relevant.
Wrapping it Up
Though the title "Fluff Certified Sitter" is a source of pride for our employees, we know that it means something to our clients as well. Each client knows the level of quality they get when a Fluff Certified Sitter watches their pets, and that each service conducted by a Fluff Certified Sitter comes with a guarantee.
We genuinely hope that reading about how our sitters are selected, trained, and maintained has put your mind at ease about leaving your precious pets in our care. If not, we urge you to read about our guarantees and to contact us with any concerns.