4 Effective Tips for Finding a Dog Sitter That You Trust

If you’re like most dog owners, you wish you could take your canine companion with you everywhere you go. However, you probably also realize that this isn’t a practical approach for most people. Business trips, family reunions, and romantic weekend getaways with the important human in your life are just a few examples of situations where a trusted dog sitter may be necessary.

Following are four strategies designed to help you ensure that your furry friend is in good hands during those times when you can’t be with them:

1- Ask for Recommendations From Other Dog Owners

Asking for recommendations from other dog owners in your circle is a good starting point. Most people are particular about the care their pets receive while they’re away, and if they’re unhappy with a certain pet sitter, they don’t mind letting the world know about it. By the same token, they’re happy to sing the praises of exceptional pet sitters who have provided reliable and loving care for their canine companions.

Don’t limit your requests to friends and family — neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances from the dog park or veterinary office can also be valuable sources of recommendations.

2- Check Out Local Review Sites

Local review sites also provide a diverse perspective on dog sitting services. Reading these reviews helps you gain insight into individual pet sitters in your area. Pay attention to both negative and positive reviews, but keep in mind that the occasional negative review isn’t necessarily a red flag. Look for common themes or concerns in the reviews, and consider how they align with your individual hopes and expectations for your dog’s care.

3- Conduct Interviews and Check References

In many areas, good dog sitters are often booked weeks and even months in advance, so be sure to narrow down your search to several possibilities to avoid being disappointed. Although it’s important to conduct interviews at this point, you should also be mindful of the person’s time — you don’t want to hold them up for hours. They should also be able to provide you with current local references that you can contact.

Questions to ask include whether they are experienced dealing with your dog’s breed and with any special needs your pet may have, what their typical daily routine is, and what procedure they have in place for dealing with emergencies. Once you’re satisfied that a pet sitter meets your criteria, it’s time to move on to the final step in your selection.

4- Arrange for a Meet-and-Greet

A meet-and-greet should include your dog and take place in the setting where your dog will be cared for. Pay attention to how the sitter interacts with your dog and with any other animals that may be present at the time. Make sure the environment is safe and secure for pets, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about whether there are other members of the household and what role, if any, they will be playing in your pet’s care.

After you decide on a pet sitter, schedule a short overnight visit so that your dog can get used to the environment prior to your departure.