A pet sitter relaxes on the couch with a fluffy, white dog.

Finding the Right Pet Sitter

Many pet parents feel like their animals are part of the family. Just like finding a babysitter we trust for our human babies, there comes a time when you need to find a pet sitter capable of caring for your furry babies. Here are a few tips to find the perfect person to take care of your pets when you’re away from home.

Set Expectations

Have a clear idea in your head of what you expect from your pet sitter. You can’t find the right sitter if you don’t know what makes the best sitter. Create a list of all the things you want your pet sitter to do while you are gone. This could include feedings and scheduled walks, as well as sending photos or engage your pet in activities . Your list should include everything you expect from your sitter, so that they know exactly how much or how little attention your animal requires.

All pets have different needs. Maybe you have a cat who needs someone to sit and snuggle with after dinner, or a cat who just wants someone to be in the house, but not necessarily interact with them. Perhaps your dog needs someone who will throw a ball with them for hours on end. These are all things that a pet sitter needs to be comfortable doing to keep your pet happy and engaged.

If you have a pet with special needs, you may need to find a caregiver with a particular set of skills. Finding a sitter who is comfortable with older pets or pets with medical needs can be difficult, but your veterinarian can act as a great resource. Often, veterinary technicians may be available to pet sit and will have the skills necessary to administer medication and monitor any special requirements for your pet.

What to Ask a Potential Sitter

Ideally, you and your pets will meet the pet sitter before they’re scheduled to watch your pet. A phone or email interview will never replace the ability to connect in person and see how they interact with your pet and more importantly, how your pet interacts with them. When you meet you may want to ask some questions to get to know your future pet sitter.

Why Do You Like Pet Sitting? Do You Have a Favorite Story to Share?

Starting with a general question like this can help you get to know something about your potential pet sitter. They will not only be taking care of your pet, but will be in your home, so knowing a little about what makes them tick will help you feel comfortable. Do they seem enthusiastic and passionate about their job? Do you get the feeling that they will give your pet the attention they deserve?

How Much Pet Sitting Experience Do You Have?

You’ll want to know that your sitter has the experience your pet requires. Will the sitter have the knowledge to adapt if necessary? Many pet sitters will have clients that are willing to vouch for them. Don’t be afraid to ask for references.

How Much Time Can You Spend with My Pet Everyday?

If your pet needs a lot of attention, you’ll need to be sure that the sitter can spend the appropriate amount of time with your pet. This question is less of a concern if you are just looking for someone to feed your pet, but if you are looking for someone to keep your pet company while you are away from home, you want to know they are taking care of your companion.

What Would You Do if There Was an Emergency?

While it isn’t pleasant to think about anything going wrong while you are away, you want to know that your pet sitter has a plan in case of emergencies. Make sure you leave emergency contacts for your sitter in a place where it is easily accessible. This should include:

Leaving your pet or pets with a stranger can be a scary thing. Your pet sitter should be able to give you the peace of mind you need while you are away from your pets. Taking a few basic steps can help you find the right person for your furry family member.