Five Tips for Selecting a Great Dog Sitter

May 27, 2014 | By More



Summer is unofficially here and that means the occasional getaway or much needed vacay for many.  Or, in my case, just a few more trips to visit my parents and my in-laws.  According to the American Pet Products Association’s latest pet ownership survey, over 83 million dogs are owned in this country and over 32% of dog owners take their pooch with  them in the car when they are away for two or more nights!  But what if your dog will not be your copilot on your next trip? Do you board them or leave them with a pet sitter?

For some of my trips, especially those to see my folks and my in-laws, a dog sitter is required.

If you find yourself in need of a trusted pet partner while you are away, I have a few ideas on just how to find a great one.  I have used many over the past ten years and some were better than others and my dogs certainly had their favorites too.

dog sitter

Here are five tips for selecting a great dog sitter:

1.  Referrals– get a good one.  Ask a friend whose decisions you trust, your pet’s veterinarian and especially your local pet store owner.  The latter usually has a good idea of who has rave reviews and why.

2.  Call a few and MEET them all- I am always amazed when people tell me they have talked to someone on the phone and have just left a key.  What!!??  Meet any potential person that might be interacting with your pet.  It is important to see them face to face and learn how your pets react to them.

3.  Licensed, Bonded and Insured– I recommend that a potential pet sitter is licensed, bonded and insured.  Licensed to do business in your area, bonded in the event theft takes place and insured against an accident.

4.  Expectations– Learn exactly what they will do with your pet, how long they will be with them and outline your expectations.  Do you want to receive a phone call, text or a picture after each visit?  Do your dogs like to play ball, walk a particular path or need to avoid the neighbor’s dog?  I am probably neurotic, but I outline everything.

5.  Questions– The more the better.  Peace of mind while your away is priceless.

Have a great summer and I do hope you are able to travel with your pets.  But if you can’t, a great dog sitter is worth their weight in gold!

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About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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