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      Consumer Confidential: hiring a pet sitter

      The right pet sitter will give you, and your pet, peace of mind while you're away.

      For many of us, we take time off and travel for the holidays to visit family and friends.

      But what happens if you can??t take Fido along on your journey?

      A pet sitter might be just the thing you need.

      But Terilynn Salazar, the manager of Critter Camp in Canyon, says before you hire one, have that person spend some time in your home with your pet. ??You would want your dog to be familiar with this person, to know that they??re welcome in your home, and that that person is going to take care of them,?? she says.

      You should know that most professional sitters charge between $15 and $50 per visit, depending on the distance traveled, length of the visit, and duties required.

      Visits can range from as little as 20 or 30 minutes to staying in your house overnight.

      Salazar also says it??s a good idea your sitter is bonded and insured and comes with good references. ??Things can happen,?? she says. ????You need to be very careful to be suyre that you??ve got somebody totally responsible, that understands all of the implications of coming into your home.??

      The experts say before hiring, understand the services the provider will provide, including the frequency of visits, and clearly communicate your pet??s needs.

      A professional sitter should also have an emergency protocol in case of an emergency with your home or pet.