The Essential Pet Sitter Check List

If you don’t have a relative or good neighbors close by who can look after your furry friend/s while you go away on holiday, then who will??

Call in the house sitters, (if your are still looking for a reliable house sitter, have a look at the list of the best house sitting sites).

For homeowners finding the perfect pet/ house sitter can be a very daunting and drawn-out process, and that’s understandable.  When looking for house sitters how do you know when you have found the right ones?

Do you just go with your gut feeling? Give them a test run when you are still at home? Just wing it? We believe selecting a house sitter is a very important decision. Remember your house sitter will be left in charge of your house, your possessions, and most importantly your pets.

We have come up with a pet sitter checklist with our top 10 questions we recommend you ask any potential sitter.


Pet Sitter Checklist

10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Potential Pet Sitter

1. Can You Provide House Sitting References?

You might think this is an obvious one but it does get overlooked.

Some people talk a big game, but the proof is in their references. Ask the potential sitters personally for their references. If they are hesitant to hand over references that is a sign they have something to hide.

If they have a website or an account on Trusted House Sitters, log on and see what previous clients have said. Even better as for a previous client’s email/ phone number. You might just find out the deciding factor.

2. Do You Provide a Criminal Record Check?

Criminal record checks are extremely easy to obtain. Most countries will even do them for free. New Zealand will send a physical copy to your home address or an email copy to you. The process usually takes about a month.

For homeowners, a criminal record check is the ultimate peace of mind. If your potential house sitter does not provide one we would recommend choosing another candidate, there is a good chance they have something to hide.

If your looking into international house sitting this is a really important point to cover.

3. What Is Your Favourite Part About Pet Sitting?

There is no right or wrong answer here. This question is about getting a good feel for your potential house sitters. Make sure their reasoning sits well with you and what you believe house sitting should be about.

The last thing you want is for your house sitter to like house sitting is ‘to get free food or house-sitting for free rent When your top priority is your pet being well cared for while you are away.

The last thing you want is for your house sitter to ‘to get free food’, when your top priority is your pet being well cared for while you are away.

4. What is Your Experience With (your pet here) Pets?

This one is an important one. You want sitters who have grown up around pets and have good first-hand experience.

You want to leave your pets in good capable hands, this ensures you have a good trip and spend less time worrying about what is happening at home.

5. Can You Spend Time With My Pets With Me?

Having your potential pet sitter spend time with your pets with you around is the best way to ensure your pets will be in good hands while you are away. You want them to build a good relationship built on trust with your animals

You know your pets best and know when they are not comfortable around someone. Again you will appreciate the peace of mind knowing your pet is comfortable and happy.

6. Do You Have Any Relevant Qualifications?

Does your pet sitter have any relevant skills? Are they pet first aiders? Are they human first aiders? Do they have training in using a fire extinguisher in case of a house fire?

Do they know how to clean a house properly? These are other essentials to find out. The last thing you want is your pet or home in danger and the house sitter be useless in the situation.

7. How Often Will They Be at Your House?

Some pets require a lot of attention. You want to make sure your pet sitter can accommodate all of your pet’s requirements.

If your dog needs four walks a day, make sure your pet sitter does not work a 9 – 5 with two hours of travel time a day. You want your pet to stick its routine as much as possible.

8. How Often Can You Communicate With Me?

Your pet is a part of your family. Some homeowners will want daily updates on their pets. You want to make sure your house sitters are aware of how many updates & photos you want.

Also, make sure they know how to use your preferred messaging platform. If you want 10 picture updates a day make sure you get a house sitter who is tech-savvy and has all the equipment needed.

9. How Do They Handle Pet or Home Emergencies?

How would your potential sitter react if there was a home or pet emergency? You want to make sure your sitter will not overreact to a small problem or underreact to a big problem.

Remember they are there to make your life easier and less stressful not the other way around!

10. Can You Care For Pets With Special Needs?

Some animals require special diets, exercise programs, attention, or vet schedules.

Make sure your potential house sitter is fine with any special requirements your pet may have.


There are lots more questions that you can ask potential sitters. However, we believe that these 10 are essential to ask before considering anyone. 

Over our few years house sitting we have been asked lots and lots of questions before sitting. As house sitters, we don’t find it intrusive or offensive if you ask personal questions.

At the end of the day you are trusting us with your home and animals and we want you to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

Do you want us to look after your home? Contact us now to check our availability and upcoming schedule! 

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