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Why use a pet sitter?

Woman hugging a dog advice

A pet sitter can look after your dog when you are on holiday.

© Shutterstock

Sadly, there are times where you can’t be with your dog. Whether that be because you’re visiting a friend or going on holiday, you might need the help of a pet sitter… But what is a pet sitter? And what do they do? 

By Pippa Ischt

Updated on the 24/08/2020, 10:38

Are you planning your next holiday but your dog has to stay behind? Are you looking for a reliable and local pet sitter but not sure where to start? There are a few things to think about - read on to find out more about pet sitters. 

What does a professional pet sitter do?

A pet sitter will take care of an animal while their owner is away, normally for a longer amount of time - for example if their owner goes on holiday. They usually care for the pet in the owner’s home or sometimes in their own home. They will be responsible for feeding them, walking them and other aspects of their welfare, including keeping them company.

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The benefit of using a pet sitter is that your pet will usually feel more at ease as they’re being cared for in the comfort of their own home and the sitter can follow your pet’s daily routine. A pet sitter will also visit your home or pet before their stay to ensure that everyone is comfortable.

The top things you should look for in home pet sitting

Many pet owners think that finding a local pet sitter is a difficult task, but with these helpful tips finding a reliable sitter will be easy! First things first… How do you find a pet sitter?

  • Ask family or friends - ask a fellow dog owner that you know and trust for a recommendation for a pet sitter they use. You’ll receive peace of mind knowing that a family or friend has used them before and they’re happy with the care provided.
  • Check local groups - use social media or local neighbour apps to ask for recommendations for a trusted pet sitter.
  • Use a pet sitting website or app - there are more and more pet sitting websites and apps, why not check the sitters in your area and see their reviews.

The most important thing to look for when searching for a reliable pet sitter is insurance. Although it isn’t a requirement in the UK for pet sitters to have insurance, most trusted and professional sitters will be covered, just in case of a problem. This usually means that both the pet owner and the sitter will be insured.

If a pet sitter is looking after the animal in their own home they will also need a license from their local council. It’s also not uncommon for pet sitters to be DBS checked too, so don’t be afraid to ask your pet sitter to show you this certificate.

Tipping your pet sitter and payments

Payment can always be a bit of an awkward situation, but with any service based business, if you’re happy with the experience and service provided you are more than welcome to tip to show your gratitude. The amount to tip the pet sitter can really vary depending on how long they’ve cared for your dog and also how much their fee is. Of course, with all things, don’t feel pressured to give a tip if you aren’t happy!

How to become a pet sitter

Becoming a pet sitter is easier than you think. You don’t need any qualifications or training to be a pet sitter, however to be a step ahead of your competition and to be classed a professional it is recommended that you do have some sort of training or experience. Dog first aid and behavioural courses are a good idea too.

If you’d like to take care of animals in your own home you will need to get a license. You can do this by contacting your local council. However if you are planning to be a live-in pet sitter (looking after the pet in the owner’s home) this isn’t necessary. Most pet sitters are also covered by insurance, so it’s recommended that you do this before working.

Finding a pet sitter near you doesn’t have to be hard. Your pets deserve the best care possible, so just make sure that your chosen pet sitter comes recommended and has good experience looking after pets - and they’ll have a great time!

Are you looking to move house with your cat? Why not use the service of a pet sitter, while you take care of moving? You and your cat would feel less pressured.