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Hiring a Pet Sitter

Dog walker with dogs enjoying outdoors.

Finding a pet sitter you trust is critical. You can ask your veterinarian, pet store, or friends for referrals. Once you have narrowed down your choices, it’s important to meet the potential pet sitter.  To find the perfect pet sitter for your pet and needs, we recommend asking your candidate a few questions. 

Consider this list of questions (courtesy of Dogster):

1. How long have you been pet sitting?

Do you feel comfortable with the sitters level of experience? Check if the sitter is comfortable working with various dogs, such as puppies and special needs, and has the level of experience you’re looking for in caring for your dog. 

2. Will you be comfortable caring for my dog?

If your pup does have special needs, ask if the sitter is comfortable caring for your dog. You want to ensure your sitter can administer medication, handle behavioral issues, or can handle large energetic pets.

3. Are you CPR/Pet First Aid Certified?

 While these certifications aren’t required, it demonstrates a level of conscientiousness if a sitter has taken the time to be certified in CPR or pet first aid. 

4. Do you have references?

Ask for and call references.

5. What do you charge and what is included?

Sitters typically set a base price then add charges for additional services as needed. Be sure you fully understand pricing and fees and the care your dog will receive while you are away.

6. Will my dog be around other pets?

Some sitters handle multiple pets at the same time. If you aren’t comfortable with your dog being around other animals, make sure your sitter can provide individual care.

7. How do you handle emergencies with pets?

Just like humans, accidents and illness can happen. Make sure your sitter knows to get your pup to a veterinarian quickly and keep you informed. 

8. Can you care for my dog longer if I encounter travel delays?

We’ve seen this happen many times. If your flight is delayed or something happens, ask your sitter if they can care for your pup until you’re able to get home. 

9. Will you send me updates?

It’s good reassurance to receive a text or email pet photos and updates while you’re away.

If you feel comfortable and confident with your prospective sitter’s responses to these questions, you are off to a great start. It might be helpful to schedule a time for your pet sitter to do a visit or two with your dog before you leave on an extended trip. Encourage communication and asking questions as you build a working relationship with your pet sitter. 

Steps to Ensure A Positive Pet-Sitting Experience

Once you have found a pet sitter for your dog, consider these tips to make things go smoothly:

  • Book your sitter early
  • Leaving clear, detailed instructions regarding your dog’s routine including feeding, walks, leashes/harness, potty break routines, medications, and emergency contact information with your veterinarian’s contact information.
  • Leave your pet supplies in one location. Make sure there is enough food too in case you are delayed. Don’t expect your pet sitter to look all around the house for notes. A good sitter will not be looking around, they are focused on caring for your dog and will only look for notes in your specified location.
  • Leave a spare key with a neighbor or family member in case of emergency. We’ve had keys break or not work. You want to make sure your sitter can get in and take care of your pet. 
  • Provide clear details on how to use your home’s security system. You One of the best things about using a pet sitter is once you find one you trust and establish a working relationship, your pets should feel comfortable in her care and you’ll be able to leave home without worry.
  • If you live in a guarded or gated community, make sure your pet sitter has full access to the property so she can come and go easily from your home.
  • When you get home, be diligent about letting your pet sitter know you’re back.

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