Not every pet-parents cares to be as intentional or involved as others do when it comes to selecting a pet-sitter for their fur-baby. But below are some helpful guidelines to use as a reference for how to find a good pet sitter by asking the right questions when considering someone for the position. These inquiries should help you find the most well-equipped and experienced care giver for your pet while you are away.

An ideal pet sitter should naturally have a calming presence with a responsible and caring attitude. They should be sensitive and inquisitive about your needs as well as the pet’s tendencies and routine preferences. They should be found trustworthy by their references, and be willing to behave in consistency with your house rules, with a firm but gentle hand. Aside from solid experience and a warm pet-loving personality, there are other qualities a good pet sitter should possess. Ask the questions below to see if the sitter is the best fit for you

Questions to Ask a Prospective Pet Sitter

  • What training have they completed? Though not every individual requires a certification for pet sitting, some pet-parents take great comfort in knowing their sitter has undergone training. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) offers certifications and training courses.
  • What references do they have? Speaking to past clients of the pet sitter will help you understand what they did well, and what areas they might need specific instructions for. It will also help you feel more confident about who you have hired.
  • Do they provide a service contract? It is advisable to stipulate all responsibilities of the pet sitter as well as the expected compensation, in case any discrepancy should arise. (This is especially necessary if the sitter will be staying on site, or will be there for an extended amount of time, as both parties will be held accountable to the responsibilities determined at the time of the original contract agreement.)
  • What services do they provide during their term? Depending on the length of trip, will they bathe and daily brush your cat or dog? Do they know the right way to brush an animal’s teeth? Will they implement any training or practice any skills you would like your pet to stay current with?
  • Will the pet-sitter record notes about your pets to report back to you? Find out if they will take notes on your cat or dog’s behavior throughout the day, and what they have experienced in playtime, or during the daily walk and meals. Ask to be informed of anything out of the ordinary.
  • Are they associated with a veterinarian nearby in case of a disaster? Make sure they have the contact information for not only specialists they have relationships with, but also the veterinarian your pet frequents. Inquire to see if they also have the emergency pet care hotline numbers easily accessible in case of a disaster.
  • What is their plan in the event that the pet sitter becomes sick or incapacitated for some reason? Is there a person they recommend as a reliable back-up in case of any emergencies? Make sure they will provide you with this person’s contact information should you need to reach them.
  • Does the pet sitter have commercial liability insurance? Some people like to ensure that their pet sitter has insurance to cover any negligence or accidents that might occur while watching a pet.