Nowadays, pet owners are lucky enough to have a lot of extra options besides traditional boarding kennels.
Like my fur kid (who is a big introvert!), your pet might prefer staying in the comfort of his or her own familiar home space. Or perhaps you own a socialite who loves nothing more than meeting new humans and their furry friends. Or maybe you own a pet with special needs, such as an elderly dog or a very young puppy.
Fortunately, there are thousands of awesome local sitters out there to suit virtually every situation and pet temperament. Home visits or home pet boarding is also an affordable, convenient and flexible pet care option when you are traveling or working.
But how do you make sure you have the right match? And what are the next steps to take after you connect with a promising-looking pet sitter?
Here is a checklist of the essential questions you must ask your pet sitter when you first meet in person. Follow this guide before making an official booking and you and your dog will have a smooth pet sitting experience!
Matching Your Dog With the Pet Sitter:
- Does the sitter have any commitments outside of pet sitting and does their availability align with your dog’s specific needs?
- What previous experience do they have in pet care?
- Do they have references or reviews you can read?
- Do they have a police certificate or a copy of their identification?
- What plan does your pet sitter have in case of emergency?
- How can you get in touch with them while you are away?
If Your Pet Is Boarding With the Sitter:
- Do they have a resident pet, or guest pets that will be staying with your pet too? Are they vaccinated?
- What is their house like? Is it thoroughly dog-proofed, with all escape routes blocked off?
- What facilities are nearby for your dog to enjoy? Any nice parks, lakes or beaches?
If the Sitter Is Visiting Your Home:
- How long do you expect the pet sitter to spend with your pet?
- Are there any extra duties they can help you with, for example bringing in the mail or watering the plants?
And last but not least: A good pet sitter will be just as curious about you and your pet as you are about them! Expect them to ask you for loads of information too, including the following:
- Your contact details.
- An emergency contact – perhaps a friend, family member or trusted neighbor.
- The contact details of your preferred veterinary clinic – they will have your pet’s information on file.
- Copies of your pet’s registration and vaccination.
- Any extra relevant information about your dog: such as diet, walking times, allergies, temperament, favourite toys or games and sleeping habits.
Good luck finding that perfect pet sitter! Have you used a pet sitter before? What questions did you ask, or wish you had? We’d love to hear in the comments section below!
Jessica is a pet fanatic and blog writer for Pawshake, an online service connecting pet owners with local pet sitters. She has always been a dog owner, but currently is the proud parent of a shelter cat called Benjamin. She has experience as a pet sitter herself and loves finding ways to make the pet sitting process smooth, safe and fun for everyone involved.