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How to Choose a Pet Sitter

December 20, 2021
Dog sitting on couch

There’s really no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to finding the right pet sitter to meet the specific needs of you and your pet(s). While some pet parents have the luxury of using/hiring a neighbor, family member or good friend they can trust with the responsibility, others have to look to professional resources or referrals from those they know and respect.

With so many pet sitting options available, it’s important that you know how to better search for reliable pet care and the questions you’ll need to ask. Finding a pet sitter to provide the right pet care services requires investing time on screening potential pet sitters via telephone interviews, introducing the pet sitter to your pet during in-home meetings and checking references on those you’re considering hiring. And while someone may meet your stringent criteria, it’s always critical to see how your pets react to and interact with your potential choice.

Finding the right pet sitter for your pet requires thorough research and patience, since finding the right pet sitter may take time.

When hiring a professional pet sitter, consider

1) Do you want care provided at your home or does the pet sitter offer limited boarding in their home/facility? If it’s the latter, does the pet sitter also have the proper authorization and license to offer this service?

2) Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?

3) Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history? This is especially important since the person you select will have access to your home and precious pet. Request third-party credentials that verify the sitter has a track record of integrity and honestly.

4) Is the pet sitter bonded and insured? Be sure to request proof of coverage.

5) Does the pet sitter have client references?

6) Will the pet sitter use a pet sitting services contract or agreement? This document should outline details associated with each service the sitter will be providing.

7) Has the pet sitter completed a professional pet sitting program or have they participated in pet care training that includes such important elements as pet first aid?

8) Is the pet sitter a member of an educational or professional association? Membership in the latter demonstrates a pet sitter’s commitment to their profession and the pet industry at large.

You’ll also need to establish:

1) How much time the pet sitter will be spending in your home to care for your pet(s)? And how many visits will they make daily? The average in-home visit to care for one pet is roughly 30 minutes. This can include feeding, administering of medication, walking, playing, and setting up beds for sleeping. Yet, additional time may be required if you request special services or have a special needs pet. Most pets require at least two or three visits daily if you are out of town.

2) What will the pet sitter do in case of a medial emergency? Make arrangements with your veterinarian and/or local emergency veterinary clinic to authorize the pet sitter to request medical attention for your pet on your behalf.

Finding the right pet sitter can give so much peace of mind while traveling without your furry family member. It is worth the time investment to ensure your pet sitter is the right fit for both you and your pet!