5 Steps to Finding the Right Pet Sitter

It’s stressful for Benji too.

Not only is he missing you – he’s stuck in a cage around other pets that he doesn’t know.

A pet sitter can be the answer. Your furry family member gets to stay home and you end up saving hundreds of dollars in boarding fees.

Book early

A pet sitter with a good reputation of pet care will be booked solid. If you want to get someone to watch your pet(s) give yourself plenty of time to get on their schedule.

Did you know that people who watch others’ pets have an association? 

A survey of the members of Pet Sitters International (PSI) reported that:

“ … [M]ore than 60 percent of its members are completely booked for holiday pet-sitting visits two to three weeks prior to the holiday — and nearly 13 percent are usually fully booked at least two months in advance.”

When you give yourself a lot of time to find a pet sitter you can take the time to get to know her, before fully committing your pet to her care.

Once you know when you’ll be traveling, book your sitter immediately.

Decide what type of care you need

Maybe your pet does well on his own and you just need someone to stop by (rather than stay in) your home.

Some common types of services pet sitters offer can include:

  • ⬥ Dropping by one or more times to check on your pet (feeding and/or walking him) while you’re at work or if you’re late
  • ⬥ Staying overnight (house-sitting)
  • ⬥ Taking your pet to their home
  • ⬥ Caring for caged animals such as reptiles, birds or even chickens
  • ⬥ Grooming
  • ⬥ Training

Get recommendations from trusted friends and/or family

Begin your search for a pet sitter by asking a friend or family member who they use. Your veterinarian or groomer can also be a good resource of dependable, trustworthy pet sitters.

Check with the PSI (Pet Sitters International) or NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) for reputable pet sitters. Look for a pet sitter who has liability insurance coverage and is bonded.

Bonding will protect you from theft while liability covers any accidents that may happen.

Do interviews

Yes, interview a potential pet sitter.

Have him meet you at your home and see how well your pet interacts with him.

Ask her about topics such as:

  • ⬥ Any specialized training she might have had
    The types of pets she has experience with
  • ⬥ The procedures she would use in the event of an emergency
  • ⬥ What he would do in the event he is unable to come to your home
  • ⬥ What type and frequency of communication she will provide while watching your pet
  • ⬥ And of course, ask for references (do contact them)

Prepare for success

Give your pet sitter everything she needs to make the time you’re away as stress-free as possible for your pet.

Do this by sharing the following information with your sitter:

  • ⬥ Your pet’s routine – feeding time, walk time, bedtime, etc.
  • ⬥ Any medications they might needs
  • ⬥ Your vet’s number
  • ⬥ The closest 24-hour emergency vet office
  • ⬥ Your emergency contact information
  • ⬥ Any other information that a caretaker might need about your pet
  • ⬥ Put all pet supplies in an easy to reach area, making sure that there’s plenty of food for the time you’ll be gone.
  • ⬥ Don’t forget to leave your pet’s favorite treats!
  • ⬥ Put cleaning supplies in an easy to locate area too in the event of spills or accidents.

Other tips

Help your pet to feel more comfortable while you’re away by:

  • ⬥ Asking the sitter to turn on lights at night and from time to time, the TV or radio
  • ⬥ Putting an old shirt near your pet’s bed
  • ⬥ Making sure your home is entirely pet-proof (pets can sometimes get into trouble when they’re missing you)