Hereโ€™s How You Can Find a Professional and Qualified Pet Sitter

BY | January 02 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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There are certain things that you expect from your pet sitter. You love your pets and you would understandably want someone who would take care of them and love them as well and as much as you do to be in charge of them while youโ€™re away.

What should you look for in a pet sitter?

  • Flexibility โ€“ Your sitter should be able to step in and take charge at whatever time, especially if you have hectic work hours.
  • Calmness โ€“ Animals donโ€™t always behave and act in accordance with what you want. Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s important that you have a pet sitter who stays calm under pressure.
  • Sensitivity โ€“ Good pet sitters are sensitive to the needs of your pet. They recognize what needs to be done and do it.
  • Trustworthy โ€“ Itโ€™s very important that you trust your pet sitter since youโ€™ll be handing them the spare keys to your house.
  • Experience โ€“ If you hire a pet sitter that has the experience, chances are that he or she has already seen most of the common complications when it comes to taking care of a pet. They will always have a solution and wonโ€™t be surprised by every little thing that goes wrong.
  • Consistency โ€“ Make sure you hire a sitter who will also enforce the rules that you have taught your pet. If your sitter uses a different method of discipline, it could end up confusing your pets.
  • Reliability โ€“ Can you rely on your pet sitter to make your life easier without messing anything up? Itโ€™s very important for you to be able to rely on your pet sitter so you can go ahead and make plans without having to worry about the care and safety of your pet.
  • Insurance โ€“ Always check whether the sitter has insurance and a license. This just shows that he or she is professional and very serious about the job.
  • Love for animals โ€“ Make sure that the sitter is in the industry because she genuinely loves animals and not just because of the income.
  • Whether they can connect with your pet โ€“ Just like how you wouldnโ€™t hire a babysitter without having them meet your baby first, you shouldnโ€™t hire a pet sitter without having them meet your pets first. Watch how well they get along with your pets and whether they can form a connection.

How can you find a good pet sitter?

  1. Ask your vet.
  2. Ask your friends and neighbors to suggest good pet sitters.
  3. Make a questionnaire so you can screen potential pet sitters.
  4. Ask the pet sitter for references to other clients that theyโ€™ve worked for.
  5. Always go for a certified pet sitter.
  6. Make sure you double-check the contract.
  7. Always inquire about their emergency procedures.

No matter how good their qualifications are, give them a trial day or week with your pet to see whether your pet is comfortable with them before you hire them.

6 of the Best Websites for Finding a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

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In 1983, Patti Moran was laid off from her job and, in a move that would later become a watershed moment for pet care professionals, decided to start her own pet-sitting business right out of her home. 21 years later, Pet Sitters International is one of the largest institutions in pet sitting education and certification.

RELATED STORY: What's the Cost to Kennel a Dog? In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week (PPSW), we are taking a closer look at this necessary profession, and more specifically, the way in which the internet now makes it possible to find a reputable person to look after our precious pets. These are six of the best websites for finding a pet sitter or dog walker.

RELATED STORY: 3 Ways to Be Safer Walking a Dog at Night

1. Rover

With a simple interface complete with fields designed to help you pinpoint your specific needs, Rover provides highly tailored and easy-to-use care for your dog. And thanks to their creative badge and rating system, Rover makes it easy to tell what other pet parents thought of a pet sitter's service.

2. PetSitters.org

The official website of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), this pet sitter directory -- while less sleek and robust as competitors such as Rover or DogVacay -- does host tons of quality content, as well as make it simple for aspiring pet sitters to get their accreditation as a licensed professional pet sitter.

3. Fetch! Pet Care

Boasting the title of โ€œthe nationโ€™s largest and most trusted provider of professional pet sitting and dog walking services,โ€ Fetch! Pet Care has been pairing pet parents with highly vetted pet sitters since 2002. With services available all across America, Fetch! makes it easy to ensure that your pet is in safe hands.

4. DogVacay

The sleek layout of DogVacay makes it simple to find a loving home to board your pet while you are away. Hosting hundreds of pet sitters in your area, many with dozens of rave reviews, DogVacay is ready to pair you with the ideal pet sitter. This service also offers the option to look in on your petโ€™s stay, with video chatting and live updates on how your pooch is doing.

5. Care.com

Care.com is an all-purpose care services platform, offering detailed profiles on potential babysitters, elderly care specialists, and also pet care professionals. With numerous fields allowing for profile customization, you can be sure Care.com will pair you with someone nearby, within your price range, and up to your standards.

6. Petsit.com

Petsit.com is the pet sitter-finding program used by Pet Sitters International, which means that every person on their website is bonded, insured, and vetted by their staff, ensuring that you end up with a true professional that cares about your pet. It may not have the same sleek appearance as DogVacay or Rover, but when it comes to pairing you up with a true pet care professional, Petsit.com is truly top tier. Do you have any experience using any of these pet sitting websites? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below! 

Steps to Finding the Perfect Dog Sitter with Rover.com

All pet owners know that feeling when theyโ€™re getting ready for a trip, so excited to be heading off to their destination, but feeling a bit guilty packing their bag with their dogโ€™s big, sad eyes staring at them. Many pet owners feel bad about leaving their pet, in large part because they arenโ€™t really comfortable with their current boarding solution. Well, our friends at Rover.com have just the right alternative. They help pet parents find trusted dog sitters close by, where your dog can stay in a real home โ€“ whether thatโ€™s the dog sitterโ€™s home or your own. We know that leaving your dog with a stranger can still be scary, so Rover wanted to share some tips and tricks for finding the perfect dog sitter for both you and your dog.rover-find-pet-sitter

How to Find the Perfect Dog Sitter for You and Your Pup on Rover.com

Almost all dog owners will tell you that their four-legged companions are more than just a dog, theyโ€™re family too! Thatโ€™s why finding the perfect dog sitter is so important. During the holiday's many people are traveling and most dog owners dread having to think about what to do with their dog while theyโ€™re away. We found in a survey of over 1,000 pet parents that 80% of dog owners worry about the care of their dogs when theyโ€™re away and 66% are unhappy with their current boarding solution.

The holidays are already stressful so we wanted to help you combat these worries of leaving your dog and show you โ€“ the 70% of owners who would travel more if they had a trusted dog sitter โ€“ how to find the perfect Rover dog sitter. Below are some tips that make finding a dog sitter super easy. Who knows? This person could become your go-to for all future dog sitting!

  • First, you should create a free Rover profile. Next, ask yourself what your dog sitter โ€œcriteriaโ€ is. Dog owners need dog sitters who are as reliable and loving as a family โ€“ especially during the holidays! Itโ€™s important to outline the qualities your ideal dog sitter should have so that they can offer your dog the personal touch your pooch is accustomed to every day. It is equally important to accurately represent your dogโ€™s personality and be specific about his or her needs. Some questions to get you started are:
    • Do you want a dog sitter that stays at your house or watches your pup at their own home?
    • Is breed or size-specific experience important (i.e. someone who is good with large dogs vs. small dogs)?
    • Does your dog need a lot of regular exercise and activity throughout the day (like long runs)?
    • Do you want a sitter who is going to be home all day with your dog or can take them to work?
    • Is having a dog sitter who knows how to administer medication needed?
    • Does your dog get along with other dogs?
  • Research Rover dog sitters in your area via your zip code. By typing in your zip code and using your outlined criteria you will be able to narrow your choices quickly and easily. Rover has a variety of sitters on the site, like dog sitters ranging from professionals who will come to your home, large families with other dogs, or doting elderly folks who will love your pup like their grandchildren. Additionally, you can narrow it down by price and location. You can read over sitter profiles that have basic information, certifications, and client reviews โ€“ so finding a dog sitter is really just a click away!
  • Set up a meet-and-greet with the dog sitters of your choice. We suggest selecting at least three dog sitters to meet in person, just so you can find the perfect one and also because sitters get busier during the holidays. Find a day that works for you and determine where you want to meet each potential dog sitter. Maybe this is at your place, at theirs, or is a casual walk in the local park โ€“ do whatever you feel is most comfortable and works with your schedule! Meeting in person will give you a good feel on how the dog sitter will interact with your dog while you're away. Through your Rover profile, you can easily manage this process by sending messages directly from the site.
  • Look ahead at your calendar and book your sitter. Take a look through your calendar and map out the dates that you are going to be traveling and canโ€™t take your dog with you. You can even map out times that youโ€™ll be gone long for holiday parties and just need someone during the day. Now youโ€™re ready to book with your favorite dog sitter! Itโ€™s always best to plan in advance so youโ€™re sure your sitter will be available, or to have a backup.

We hope these tips help you in finding the perfect dog sitter. If youโ€™re booking last minute and want help, Roverโ€™s concierge team is only a phone call away and can help you find a great sitter who is available in your area.

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