COMMON PITFALLS AND THINGS TO BE AWARE OF:
Website Memberships- any .com like care, rovers, petsit, whatever, are legally meaningless, they're just multi-level marketing plans. They offer third party out of state insurance and make a lot of promises, but the Federal government and the State of Colorado have laws in place for businesses, beginning with registration, that must be followed. No website membership superceedes the need for Secretary of State Registration, Liability Insurance and Bonding, and Workers Compensation or a filed exemption with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Those items can be verified using the links above, without them you are hiring an individual with all of the associated risks. Be careful, cheap services can become very expensive.
Secondary Insurance- is actually worse than nothing. Most website sitters use this, the websites provide it, but there is a nasty catch; if anything goes wrong, before seeking reimbursement from the website sitter, you agree to seek reimbursement from a primary insurance provider, such as your home, health, or pet insurance.
Online Reviews are often fake- you can buy these. We get emails soliciting that all the time. Many small marketing companies maintain dozens of fake identities on the various sites that they use to get "results" for thier customers. The first thing any new business does is have their friends and family post reviews for them on Google, Yelp, Yahoo and other sites like that. Some make up fake ones themselves, all you need is an email address. It's dishonest, but probably the most common practice in small business. Yes, we have some really nice ones, and appreciate them, but we would advise taking them all with a grain of salt.
If your pet is to be transported- there should be an additional rider on the service's insurance policy to specifically cover transportation of animals. Make sure that the vehicle is equipped to carry your pets safely in approved carriers that are securely fastened to the vehicle, and that transportation time is not counted into service time unless specified as such in the contract.
Grooming- of any sort also requires specific insurance, or a grooming rider on a general policy.
Vehicle Graphics or Magnets- on a Pet Sitter's vehicle are a bad idea- would you pay someone to put a "No one is home" sign on your house while you're gone? Don't hire a service that drives around with one of these on their vehicle, it's an ad for trouble.