3 Tips to Find the Right Professional Pet Sitter

Dog and cat parents use pet sitters for all sorts of reasons, and the most common include going on vacation and traveling for work. No matter why you need a professional pet sitter, these three tips will help you find the right one!

Companion animals are part of the family, and you wouldn’t want to leave them alone for long periods. But busy schedules, travel commitments, emergencies, and other obligations can make it impossible to always be there for your fur babies. There are plenty of reasons to use a professional pet sitter, so here are three tips from Pet Sitters International to help you find one.

1. Share Your Specific Needs

Professional pet sitters and dog walkers often offer a variety of service options. Be specific about your schedule and your needs, whether those include:

  • Daily dog walks
  • Cat enrichment visits
  • Potty breaks for your new puppy
  • Extended visits while you’re traveling

Some providers offer package options for pet parents who need regular visits each week, and some even provide add-on options like deep litterbox cleaning or specialized activities like hiking excursions for energetic dogs.

2. Don’t Prioritize Convenience Over Quality

Anyone can post pet-care services online. Don’t let the click-and-select convenience of online sites overshadow the importance of doing your due diligence when selecting a pet sitter or dog walker. Professional pet-care providers will have the training, credentials, and insurance coverage needed to ensure the safety of your pet and home.

3. Meet the Pet Sitter in Person

Before booking pet-care services, you should schedule an initial consultation or “meet and greet” at your home—with your fur babies present. This allows you to meet the pet sitter and see them interact with your animals. You’ll also be able to review the sitter’s services, credentials, and business practices and make sure they are the best fit for your family.

Unconventional Times You Might Consider a Professional Pet Sitter

  1. Working long hours and you don’t want your fur baby to be alone
  2. Attending a special event or party
  3. Special needs, such as medication or fluids that must be given at a certain time
  4. You have a new puppy at home who needs extra attention
  5. Personal medical issues make outside care for your animal companion necessary
  6. Prioritizing taking care of a sick family member so you need help with animal care
  7. You have a senior animal who needs additional support
  8. Trips for the kids, such as a school event or sports tournament
  9. Honeymooning

There are free pet-sitter interview checklists available online. They list important questions to ask a prospective pet sitter or dog walker so you can find one that meets your criteria and matches your needs.


Beth Stultz-Hairston

Beth Stultz-Hairston is the president of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for pet-sitting and dog-walking business owners. PSI provides pet-care professionals with access to important business tools, such as pet-sitter insurance and background checks, and educational resources. Pet parents may also visit the PSI website to find professional pet-sitting and dog-walking businesses in their areas.

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