How To Choose The Right Dog Walker Or Pet Sitter

How To Choose The Right Dog Walker Or Pet Sitter

How to Choose a Pet Sitter

Hiring a pet sitter rather than putting your cat or dog into a cattery or kennel means that your pet can be cared for in your own home, which will be much more relaxing for your pet.

You shouldn’t rush into a decision when choosing a pet sitter. Start thinking about it long before you have booked any holidays so that you have plenty of time to find the right one and to ensure they are available when you need them.

1. Friends and family

A friend or family member is a good option to use as a pet sitter as you know them well and your pet might already feel comfortable in their company. Choose a friend or family member who likes pets or better still, has a pet themselves.  

Whoever you choose, make sure they are up to the task of caring for your pet. For example, if you have an energetic Labrador, your grandmother might not be able to offer the right level of care that they need.

2. Search online

The internet (including neighborhood and community websites) is a great place to start. Professional pet-sitting associations list members on their websites. Reading online reviews and even checking out candidates’ Facebook pages can help narrow down your search.

3. Prepare for the interview

Take some time to think through what you want to ask candidates before interviewing them via phone or video chat. Don’t be afraid to have a long conversation; you can get a good sense of someone’s personality and character that way. Here are some topics to consider:

The basics

Find out how long they’ve been in business, what their level of experience is with your pets’ species and what their backup plan is if something prevents them from coming to your house.


There’s no point in moving forward if you can’t afford their services. At the same time, don’t just go with the cheapest rate; you want a qualified professional.


Ask what specific services they offer — are they comfortable administering medications? Do they have special training or certifications? Are they bonded and insured (which could protect you in certain situations, such as if your dog bites another person while on a walk with the sitter)?

It can also be helpful to pose one or two emergency scenarios to see how candidates respond: What would they do if the air conditioning breaks on a hot day or your pet starts vomiting?

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