What’s it take to be a good pet sitter?

What would we do without pet sitters? While our pets can be self-sufficient to some degree, it’s never to leave them alone for too long (and yes, this applies to cats, despite their being a bit more independent than dogs). And no pet owner should ever just leave any dog or cat at home if they’re gone for an extended trip or vacation, no matter how clean the litter box is or how many bowls of food and water you leave around the house. Not only is it improper care, but it could cause the pet enormous distress and give them an opportunity to accidentally harm themselves while unattended. That’s where pet sitters come in. You can rely on a good pet sitter to take proper care of your dog or cat for however long is needed, ensuring they not only have food and water and are safe, but also provide them with positive companionship in your absence, plus regular exercise.

But how can you know whether a particular pet sitter is not only responsible but also a good fit for your particular pets? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help with this process and be able to rest assured your pet is in good hands until you get home.

If you don’t have a regular pet sitter already, it’s a good idea to conduct an interview with a potential new pet sitter before they actually start in on the job. It is smart to consider hiring a professional pet sitter, which means that the person┬ámay actually be licensed if your state or city regulations require such. You could also perform a background check on the pet sitter to ensure they don’t have any sort of criminal background. Client referrals are an excellent way to vouch for a pet sitter’s viability, so don’t be afraid to ask for these.

Organizations such as Pet Sitters International provide handy interview checklists and further resources to give you peace of mind when you leave your dog or cat with a new pet sitter. Obviously, not every pet sitter is going to be a full- or part-time professional at the job, but the more they’re able to answer their procedures, how they handle pet health issues, and their emergency policies, the better!

Do you hire pet sitters when you are away for a while? How do you go about finding the right one?

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