When it comes to your pup, there’s no place like a soft spot on your lap in the comfort of your home. But when it’s time to go away, you might wonder who you trust enough to watch your dog or cat. Finding a pet sitter can make pet owners feel nervous. However, the good news is that there are plenty of trustworthy people to pick from to watch your pup or kitty. If you need some tips on how to choose the best pet sitter, we’re here to help with the following advice.

Does Your Pet Sitter Have a Pet?

It might sound like a simple question to start, but it makes a lot of sense. One of the first things you’ll want to talk about is the pet sitter’s experience with, well, pets. Do they have pets at home? What kind of breed? If the sitter doesn’t have any experience handling pets, you’ll probably want to continue your search.

Meanwhile, you can also look for sitters who have undergone pet care or pet first-aid training. This highlights their commitment to the role and provides peace of mind. If your pet has special needs or is a unique species, it’s essential the sitter has experience in that area.

For example, if your pet has diabetes, they might need a regular insulin injection. You’ll want to select a sitter who is comfortable and experienced with this process.

Look for Reliable References

Another important consideration is references. As a pet owner, you don’t want to trust your best friend with just anyone. This is why reliable references are a must when it comes to finding the right sitter.

But where do you go to find pet sitter references, anyway? Take a look at this list for some ideas:

But where do you go to find pet sitter references, anyway? Take a look at this list for some ideas:

Personal Recommendations

Start by asking friends, family, or neighbors if they’ve ever hired a pet sitter they would recommend. Personal experiences often provide the most trustworthy reviews!

Local Vet Clinics

Veterinarians often know reputable pet sitters, as they come into contact with many of them. They can provide recommendations based on the feedback they hear from other pet owners. Ask us at Animal Care Center to see if we can help!

Pet Supply Stores

Many local pet stores have bulletin boards where service providers, including sitters, advertise. Some stores might even have partnerships with pet sitters and can vouch for their services.

Social Media

Local community groups on platforms like Facebook often have members who share their experiences and can suggest reliable pet sitters.

Professional Pet Sitting Organizations

Organizations like Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters have directories of certified pet sitters. These professionals often undergo specific training and adhere to industry standards.

Online Platforms

Websites like Rover, Care.com, or Sittercity connect pet owners with potential pet sitters. These platforms also have reviews from previous clients, which can give insight into a sitter’s reliability and quality of service.

Dog Parks

Strike up a conversation with fellow pet owners during your visits. They might have recommendations or even warnings about local pet sitters based on their own experiences.

Local Animal Shelters or Rescues

Employees and volunteers at these places often network with pet professionals and can provide suggestions for trusted sitters.

Testing the Waters

Now that you have some leads on a good pet sitter, where do you go from here? You’ll want to select from a pool of possible pet sitters and start communicating. You’ll also want the sitter to come over and meet your dog or cat, face-to-face.

Setting up an Initial Meet and Greet

A good pet sitter should be willing to meet with you and your pet beforehand. This allows everyone to get acquainted and for you to discuss care routines.

Finding the right pet sitter is akin to finding the right babysitter for your child. You wouldn’t hire someone to watch over your child without a preliminary meeting, and the same should apply to your pet. The initial meeting, often termed a “meet-and-greet,” serves several crucial functions in ensuring that you’re making the right choice.

Gauging Comfort Levels

The primary aim of a meet-and-greet is to see how your pet and the potential sitter interact. It’s essential to observe whether they bond quickly, whether the sitter is patient with a shy pet, or if they can handle a more boisterous animal.

Discussing Care Routines

Every pet has its own set of routines, from feeding times to favorite toys, and preferred resting spots. This face-to-face interaction provides an opportunity for you to walk the sitter through a day in your pet’s life.

Expressing Concerns and Special Needs

Your pet might have quirks or needs that are vital for the sitter to know. This meeting allows for a candid discussion about any potential challenges.

Setting Expectations

It’s essential to establish what you expect from the pet sitter during their tenure. Whether it’s daily updates, specific grooming tasks, or administering medication, being transparent about your expectations sets the stage for a smooth experience.

pet sitter

Don’t Forget About Regular Updates

Whether it’s through photos, texts, or calls, regular updates can keep you assured that your pet is doing well under the sitter’s care.

Take Compatibility Seriously

Compatibility is one part observing the sitter’s interaction with your pet, and one part intuition. Watch carefully when your pet and the sitter are around each other. During the initial meeting, watch how the sitter interacts with your pet. Do they seem comfortable and natural around each other?

Try a Trial Period

If possible, consider a short trial period before a longer absence. This way, you can ensure your pet is genuinely comfortable with the sitter.

Is a Pet Sitter Not Right for You? Try Dog Boarding Instead

Sometimes, finding the perfect pet sitter for your furry friend might prove challenging. If you feel that a sitter isn’t the right fit, dog boarding could be an excellent alternative. Our facility provides specialized care, often with trained professionals who understand the diverse needs of different breeds. We can also offer a structured environment, ensuring regular feeding, exercise, and social interaction if appropriate.

Before choosing a boarding facility, make sure to visit in person, review their policies, and perhaps even ask for references. Just like with pet sitters, it’s vital to find a place where you feel confident your dog will receive the best possible care. In the end, the goal remains the same: ensuring your pet’s happiness and well-being while you’re away. Please visit our dog boarding facility at Animal Care Center to learn more!