How to Choose a Good Pet Sitter

The time has come. You’re going to be away from home…maybe it’s for a day or two. Maybe it’s for a few weeks! You might be going on vacation (hurrah!) or a business trip or a holiday get-together with the extended family, or just road-tripping across the country to see all the national parks. But for whatever reason, your beloved pet(s) must remain behind!

We’ve talked some about how to take pets on a trip with you, ensuring their food and activity and other health needs are met along the way. However, what if you can’t take them this time? You don’t want to ditch your whole trip, but you also want to ensure your four-legged family members are taken care of while you’re gone. You could find a local kennel or leave them at a friend’s, but there’s another option to consider:

A professional pet sitter!



Pet sitters are a great option if you’re traveling because they can provide dedicated and knowledgeable care for your pet while you’re away. Their full job is to see that your dog or cat remains healthy and happy until you return home. How, then, do you choose the right pet sitter for your situation? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Research – Not all pet sitters or pet sitting companies are created equal. Take  the time to look around and see what the company or sitter offers, what kind of animals they specialize in, what sort of reviews they’ve received from other customers, etc. This way you can feel confident you’ve made the right choice when you do finally hire a particular sitter.
  • Connect – If you’ve found a sitter you think might be right for you, take the time to have them over before you actually leave on the trip. See how they behave around your pet(s) (and how your pets react to them) and get to know them a little. It’s important that you feel comfortable leaving your *
  • Inform – Your pets no doubt have certain behaviors, food preferences, or other habits that it’d be helpful for your sitter to know about. Be sure to leave them plenty of clear notes detailing the important parts of your pet’s daily routine. This way they can prepare for and meet your pet’s needs without any confusion getting in the way.
  • Backup – Even the best laid plans may go awry at the last minute. What if your pet sitter suddenly becomes ill or has another emergency? Do they have another sitter available who can take their place? Do they have a plan for dealing with unexpected situations so your pet isn’t left in the lurch? Be sure to clarify this upfront.

Have you ever used a pet sitter before? Were they part of a larger pet sitting company or did they work alone? How did the experience turn out? Would you hire them again if you needed to take time away and leave your pet behind?

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