How to choose a trustworthy dog sitter
As dog owners, there will inevitably be times when we need a hand with pet care. We've put together a guide to help you find the perfect sitter for your pet.
Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24
For pet owners, leaving your beloved dog in the hands of someone who’s not friends or family can be nerve wracking but there are plenty of dog sitters out there who have years of experience and provide complete peace of mind. Take a look at our top 6 tips for finding the very best dog sitter for your pet.
If you spend most of your time cuddled up with your beloved pooch then it’s understandable that the thought of leaving them alone makes you nervous. You’ll probably turn to friends and family first but if that’s not an option then how can you be sure that you're choosing the best dog sitter? Follow this handy list to help you find the best doggy day care for your pooch.
1. Ask your friends and family
As a pet lover, it’s highly likely that you have friends and family who own pets and the most trusted recommendation will come from people you know. Reach out to fellow dog lovers to see if anyone has used a dog sitter before and has first-hand experience. A top referral by a friend or family member is sure to provide you with peace of mind.
2. Consider your dog’s needs
When choosing a dog sitter, it’s vital to bear in mind your pup’s needs. If your dog has tons of energy and loves long walks, then look for a sitter that’s happy to provide this service. If your dog has any specific medical needs then look out for dog sitters who have experience with special needs dogs.
3. Get online
Chances are, online research is high on your to-do list anyway. The internet is a great place to find dog walkers, house sitters, dog boarding kennels and just about anything other type of dog care that you would consider for your pooch. Lookout for genuine online reviews and referrals from other pet owners. A doggy day care’s website is bound to feature high-praise testimonials but social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram will have all sorts of honest reviews from pet lovers who have used the service themselves.
4. Find out about training and experience
Ask the potential dog sitter about any training they’ve received. There are no set qualifications that are required before someone can set themselves up as a dog sitter or walker which is why it’s up to you to delve a little deeper and work out if you feel comfortable leaving your pup with them. Find out what their policy is in the event of an emergency and if they have links with a local vet.
5. Meet potential dog sitters in person
A hugely important step is meeting potential dog sitters in person. You should expect potential dog carers to WANT to meet your pup before agreeing to take them on. If the person you meet is animated, enthusiastic and clearly a dog lover then half of the battle is already won. Watch how they interact with your pet and gauge how happy and comfortable your dog is with them – after all, your dog’s opinion matters too!
6. Ask questions to your pet sitter
It’s a good idea to go into any meeting prepared, and meeting a potential dog sitter is no exception. Consider what you want to know and what will set your mind at ease. Here are a few questions you should consider asking a pet sitter.
- What training have you received?
- What would you do if my dog became unwell while you were watching them?
- Do you have links with local vets?
- What would you do if something prevented you from taking care of my dog? Do you have a backup?
- Can you provide references?
- Will you provide a contract outlining fees and services you offer?
- If you provide a live-in contract, can you specify how much time you’ll spend with my pet?
- Do you have insurance?
While friends and family may be happy to help out with your pooch from time to time, finding a trusted dog sitter will be reassuring if you’re going away or have regular periods of absence from your pup. Do your research, ask the right questions and you could find the perfect match for long-term peace of mind.
Frequently asked questions
How do I become a dog walker?
Walking dogs for a living seems like the dream job for many of us! Experience is key so if you've never walked a dog before, start by offering to walk neighbours' pups and build your expertise in that way.
For more info, see our article What is a dog walker?
How much daily exercise does my dog need?
The amount of exercise a dog needs varies from breed to breed. Most dogs will require at least two walks a day, with many needing more. See what works for your dog and consult with a vet to see if they think your pup is getting enough.
Learn more here: How much exercise does my dog need?
Why is it important to take my dog for a walk?
There are a whole host of reasons why walking your dog is important. It's good for their health, it keeps them fit, it helps them to relax and it's a great bonding experience for the two of you.
Read our article on the importance of dog walks.