6 Questions to Ask Pet Sitting Services

Pet sitting services are ideal for owners who travel a lot or have long work hours. Before hiring a professional agency, establish if it's the right fit for you and your pet. Hiring a reliable and qualified person is the best way to keep your dog or cat safe in your absence. Here are some important questions to ask a potential caretaker:

Ask About Qualifications and Training

Someone who works as a pet sitter will normally have some kind of professional training; but not in all cases. A candidate should have a good rapport with pets, and a solid background caring for them. You can also find pet sitting services where the employees are formally trained. This way, they are able to provide a high level of care for your pet in case an emergency situation arises.

Ask the person what type of dog or cat training he possesses. A good candidate will have experience working in a vet's office, completed a canine training/service class, or has an educational background in animal behavior.

How Many People Will Be Watching Your Pet?

Are there other employees working for the pet sitting service who will be caring for your pet? If so, ask to meet and interview them, too. Be sure and get all contact information for the staff members who will be in charge of your pets.

Inquire About Insurance and Bonding

More and more, it is becoming common for pet sitting services to have commercial liability insurance coverage and bonding. This protects both you and the worker in the event of an accident. In some cases, a pet sitter may also need to be licensed to care for certain animals.

Can the Pet Sitter Work with a Variety of Dogs?

If you own several dogs, you'll want a highly versatile and qualified professional to care for them. Be sure the sitter will be able to handle all the pets living in your home.

Additionally, some dog breeds require specific behavioral techniques for effective care. Find out if the sitter is comfortable working with different breeds. Some workers may only have had experience caring for a select population of dogs.

In addition, invite the pet sitter to spend some time with your dog to see how they get along.

Can the Pet Sitter Provide Three References?

A pet sitter will be spending a lot of time alone in your home, so you want to hire the most reliable and trustworthy candidate. Get an idea about the person's past work history. It is completely acceptable to review and check references with prior pet owners.

Specific History, Skills and Background When Hiring Pet Sitters

You many consider the following points when hiring a pet sitter:

  • membership with any professional pet organizations
  • comfort-level working with large dogs
  • background in animal first aid or emergency care
  • knowledge about pet nutrition and feeding schedules; maintaining a pet's special dietary needs
  • techniques for exercising dogs
  • experience giving pet medications
  • familiarity with washing/grooming dogs and cats
  • versatility with giving animal commands
  • easy with maintaining the security of your home
  • know how to keep a pet safe from illnesses and parasites
  • experience crating and traveling with pets in the car