Whether you’re planning to travel out-of-town or return to work, you may be looking for pet sitting services. There are many ways to find a pet sitter for your precious fur baby.
But should you opt for a pet sitter or send your pet to a doggy day care or boarding facility? Pet sitting services are usually less expensive and a reliable pet sitter can make your pet feel at home and feel safe in their familiar environment. Below Ill outline exactly how you can find a reliable and responsible sitter for your pets.
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Why Hire A Pet Sitter?
Professional pet sitters usually provide a better experience compared to friends or family. That’s because they have professional experience and strive to provide a outstanding service.
Use a Professional Service to Find a Pet Sitter (Our Top Reccomendation)
Using a professional pet sitting site gives you access to thousands of house sitters, who you can book straight away. Many sites allow you to search pet sitter profiles by location, years of experience, average rate, and star ratings. For example, you can filter for only 5-star pet sitters.
Plus some sites will also cover you and the pet sitter for insurance, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Below is the number one site we recommend to our friends and family! We love this site as you don’t have to pay your house sitter a nightly rate. You pay for the membership annually and you get access to 1000s of house sitters that have background checked and reviews and ratings. You can check the site we are talking about by clicking the button below
If you want 30% off your membership with Trusted House Sitters use the code TRAVELHS
Some house sitters provide their services for free and for a fee, if you want to know the average dog sitting rates you can see it here. Its good to know what the average cost of a house sitter will be.
Finding a Pet Sitter Through Recommendations and Word of Mouth
With recommendations, someone in your network can vouch for the level of care for the potential dog sitter. There’s a good chance you’re not the only person you know who owns a pet. There are plenty of people you could ask within your network to find your potential sitter.
Here are places you can start with to ask for recommendations:
Local Vets, Dog Clubs
Neighbors, Family Members or Friends
Perhaps you have friends, family members, or neighbours who are animal lovers. If you need a last-minute drop-in dog sitter, perhaps you can ask a friend who is willing to earn some extra money. Since you have a built-in relationship, they may already be familiar with your pet.
Dog Groomer or Doggy Daycare
If you already use a dog groomer or afternoon doggy daycare facility, consider asking them for a recommendation. Some of them may already be pet sitting part-time to supplement their income.
A veterinarian will likely have a network of providers for a variety of services. This includes part-time pet sitters, boarding facilities, humane societies, pet care professionals, animal groomers, animal hospitals, and even basic training courses.
Pet Sitters Should Be Trained in First Aid
Many professional sitters will sell “love” or “cuddles” as their skill. However, you want to look for sitters trained in first aid. Anybody can cuddle with your pet and take selfies. But what if your cat pees outside of their litter box or your dog chokes on something they shouldn’t have eaten?
Look for a pet sitter who has been certified by reputable third-party organizations on first-aid.
Test Them Out
You won’t find the perfect sitter by only looking at pet sitter profiles. Give a sitter a test run. Invite them over to meet your pets and see how they interact with one another.
If it seems like they are hitting it off, then let them spend time together. Qualified individuals with pet experience should know how to approach a pet and get excited when seeing them.
Meet & Greet Potential House Sitters
Letting your pet with separation anxiety meet the house sitters ahead of time can help you feel at ease while you’re gone. Meet and Greets are a great way to evaluate whether your pet gets along with the sitter and see how experienced the sitter is with pets.
Get to know their personality and how they operate. Furthermore, see how they approach your pet and play with them. Avoid sitters who tend to be overaggressive, but also stay away from sitters who seem shy or uncomfortable around pets.
Tips on Interviewing
As a pet owner, it’s our worst fear to have a bad sitter take care of our fur baby.
We want to find the right care take who will keep your pets safe and spend quality time with them. Here are tips for the interview process.
- Ask questions to determine whether they are the right fit. For example, you may ask:
- What type of pet sitting experience do you have?
- Do you have any formal pet training?
- Can you give references?
- How do you operate?
- Read the contract thoroughly. Many pet care agencies will provide a contract to sign to protect both parties. Read the fine print thoroughly and clarify anything you don’t understand.
- Ask them what specific scenarios. For instance, what would you do if another dog attacked our pup? Allow them to explain how they would handle certain situations.
Police Check & References
A pet sitter should have a police check on their profile. This eases your mind knowing that you aren’t bringing a formal criminal into your home.
Most sites perform an annual background check on their pet sitters to ensure they haven’t been arrested recently.
Make sure to ask for references. Contact their references and inquire about their experience with the sitter. Ask them if they were respectful to their home and how they treated their pet.
Find A Sitter That Sends Daily Updates
Communication is key to establishing trust. A sitter should provide daily updates about their visits. They may send photos and videos that show how happy your pets are. A lack of communication means you’ll be left in the dark about your pet.
Decide What You Need From a Pet Sitter
Make sure you know what qualities to look for before you begin searching. For example, if you own a young pup with lots of energy, consider hiring a younger person who can handle their excessive tugging and biting.
There are also different types of sitters to consider:
- Dog boarding sitters are professionals that take the pet to their own home. This is a much better option compared to sending your canine friend to a boarding kennel.
- Drop-in dog sitters provide drop-in visits for a set period of time for potty breaks or long walks. This service is ideal for individuals with full-time jobs.
- In-house dog sitters stay in your home to provide your pet with more extensive care and attention.
Give Them the Tools They Need to Succeed
A new pet sitter is likely unfamiliar with your home and pet. Equip your awesome pet sitter with everything they need to succeed. That’s is why we have put together a dog sitter instructions template, you can customize it with all your own information
- Provide a tour of the house. Ensure to show them where the food and water are, the litterbox, the bathroom, and anything else they need to know.
- Share your contact information, so they can ask you questions or call you in case of emergency.
- Let them know what to expect regarding key pickup and drop-off, payment, and anything else that may come up. Make sure to agree on hourly rates ahead of time.
We have also put together sne resources on how to prep your home for a house sitter. This way they can provide the best service possible.
We’ve equipped you with all the knowledge you need to find the perfect pet sitter. Now it’s your turn! Find a sitter who can take great care of your fur baby while you’re away.
I am Britt I have been house sitting and pet sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.
The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Through house sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters, and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has not only allowed me to save money on accommodation but also offered a plethora of cultural exchange opportunities.
Being a member of these platforms has not only broadened my horizons but also opened doors to short and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well maintained.
I get many questions about how to get start as a house sitters, so if you have any questions please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about about Jay and me here!
Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house sitting community on Facebook