7 Tips For Finding Dog Sitters That Will Love Your Pup As Much As You Do
Owning a dog means that whenever you go on a trip, whether it's for a weekend or a few weeks, you're responsible for making sure your dog is cared for during that time. Dogs, and pets in general, cannot be left alone in your home to fend for themselves when you aren't there — they need to be looked after. And, of course, you don't want to leave your dog with just anyone — this is your fur baby we're talking about. You want to make sure your dog is being taken care of by a good dog sitter — someone who will treat them right and make them happy.
For many people, this often means leaving their dog with a close family member or friend who is already familiar with the animal. But not everyone has this option — and if you don't, that means you need to go on the hunt for a good dog sitter. You'll want to find someone reliable who is good with animals, has experience dog sitting, has good references, and gets along with your pup. That can be a lot easier said than done!
So, how do you find the best dog sitter out there? There are a few steps you should take to ensure that you someone who will your doggo the love and respect they deserve while you're away. Don't take this lightly! It might take some time and effort, but in the end, it will be worth it.
1. Ask Around
Before you start doing research, try asking friends and family members who own dogs for their recommendations — chances are they have had to have someone watch their dog at some point. Ask who they use, and they may end up giving you a really great name. The obvious plus to getting a recommendation from someone you know is that you trust them and they're more likely to be really honest with you. And if you're on any sort of Facebook group for your neighborhood or something like that, ask there as well.
2. Ask Your Vet
It's totally possible that your veterinarian knows or even works with someone who pet sits. You can probably feel pretty confident in taking your vet's word for it, since they do make a living caring for animals. Give them a call and see if they have any recommendations — it's worth a shot.
3. Look At A Reputable Website
If you can't get any recommendations from anyone or you aren't satisfied with them, there are plenty of dog sitting websites you can check out that were created exactly for this purpose. Actually, there are so many that it can be overwhelming. Make sure to pick a reputable site that also includes customer reviews. This includes sites like Rover.com, Care.com, National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, and Pet Sitters International.
4. Meet With Them First
Once you've found a potential match, don't just hire them immediately — meet them first! Think about it: would you leave a kid with someone you had never met before? Probably not. Ask if they can meet in person for coffee or something so you can go over some details and questions. It's definitely not an unreasonable request, and if they refuse, that could be a big red flag.
5. Ask For References
When you meet and/or talk to this person, one of the first things you should ask for is references. Getting real references is a great way to judge a dog sitter. Even if reviews are included on the website you found them on (if that was the case), you should ask. A great dog sitter will have some to show you.
6. Have Your Dog Meet Them
Your approval is most important here, but your dog's approval actually might matter just as much. If your dog doesn't like or get along with this person, how could the arrangement possibly work out? Bring your dog to your little interview with the potential sitter so that you can see how they jive and get along.
7. Ask The Important Questions
Don't forget to come armed with a list of questions. Some that you'll want to ask include their plans if an emergency pops up, what their experience is, why they became a dog sitter, if they have any professional training, what their daily routine is, and if they have any criminal background. You should obviously also discuss the logistics, like pay and things like that. Don't be afraid to ask a lot!