Choosing a Pet Sitter for Your Dog or Cat

Traveling Without Your Pets

Choosing a pet sitter is a big responsibility.

As the holidays approach, many of us will be looking for a pet sitter to care for our dogs and cats while we travel out of town. A popular option many people choose is an in-home sitter – someone who comes to your home to care for your loved ones so they stay as comfortable as possible in their own environment.

But you are taking a bit of a risk when you invite someone into your home when you are not there. So, it’s important to interview any potential pet sitters to be as certain as possible that they are the right person for the job.

The following is a list of questions that you can use to start the ball rolling. Add your own questions to this list to make it complete, and if you have specific requests or routines that need to be met, make sure to add those scenarios to your interview as well.

1. What kind of pet sitting have you done in the past? Have you ever sat for a {your pet breed here} before?

2. Are you licensed, bonded, and/or insured? (Make sure to get copies of any and all certifications.)

3. Are you certified in pet CPR? (Again, get a copy of this certification.)

4. Will you be sitting for other pets during the same time period as you will be sitting for me?

5. Do you have pets of your own? If so, what types of pets? And who will be watching them while you are watching mine?

6. How much time do you expect to spend with my pet during the day?

7. Have you ever had an instance where something happened to a pet in your care? What did you do?

8. How would you handle the situation if there was an emergency with my pet?

9. How much will the total charge be? What does the contract look like?

10. Do you have references I can talk to?

Also, make sure to study your pet’s behavior when confronted with the potential sitter. Does the pet seem to like him or her? Also, observe how the pet sitter interacts with your pet. Does he or she pet and praise your pet? Does he or she respond appropriately if your pet seems scared or nervous?

What other questions can we add to this list?

About Heather @FamilyAndFur

Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue. Google+

One Response to Choosing a Pet Sitter for Your Dog or Cat

  1. Tammy says:

    We’ve never used a pet sitter, but my husband and I live in a new town where we don’t know anyone, so it’s something we might have to do in the future. (Either that or boarding… Yikes!) If we want to take a vacation together (and I think we will!) we’ll have to consider pet sitters. Thanks for the list of questions to consider – quite helpful!

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