Hiring a pet sitter doesn’t have to be challenging, whether it’s long-term, like a week for a cat while you’re on vacation, daily to help with a dog or bird if work doesn’t allow pets, or an occasional weekend away a few times a year.

We all worry that nobody will treat them like we do, but good pet sitters dedicate their lives to being the pet parents we would want them to be. And there are ways you can feel confident when deciding who to entrust with this responsibility. As fellow pet and emotional support animal parents, here are some of the techniques we have used when we made this decision as a way to help you.

Check Their Facebook Page, Not Just Google Reviews

One of our team members discovered that when looking for a cat sitter, Facebook shows the connections you know who have left a review on the pet sitter’s fan page. Unlike Google, where you may not know any of the reviewers, Facebook shows you who used the services before so you can reach out to them directly.

He found that two of the top three choices had friends or a friend of a friend who used the sitting service, so he talked to them about their experience. And that sealed the deal because he knew he could trust these people.

What is the onboarding experience like for you?

Some pet sitters require you to fill out a form and communicate via email. Others demand a phone call during which you can ask each other questions. But that might not raise your confidence enough to let them care for your companion and have full access to your home.

When one of our team members was talking to cat sitters before he went away for a week, they all appeared to be equal. However, one stood out by saying she wanted a video call with him before committing to the job. This extra step was the tiebreaker.

They were able to build rapport over the video call, ask questions, and watch the other person respond. After the call, he felt confident in her, knowing she takes care of herself and her staff and would likely do the same for his furbaby.

Ask the Right Questions About the Experience

The experience your pet will have varies depending on the pet sitter and package you purchase. That’s why asking the right questions to prevent surprises helps you know what to expect and may calm your nerves. Here are a few questions to add to your interview process:

  • Do you send photos or videos while visiting, and can you text them instead of email?
  • Will you report after each visit, including whether they went to the bathroom, ate their food, or overall energy levels?
    • This is especially important if the pet is senior or has health issues.
  • What behaviors do you look for that would signal there is a problem, and you would call me for help?
  • Are there any local veterinarians or veterinary hospitals that recommend you?

Think outside the box and ask as many questions as you can. Your pets are your children, and you want to make sure the pet sitter you hire treats them the same way you would.

Ways to Feel Confident When Hiring a Pet Sitter
Getting to know the pet sitter before hiring can assure that your pet will get the care it deserves.

Certifications and Degrees

Not all pet sitters will have a medical degree, but many will take courses that could save your dog, cat, or best friend’s life. You may want to ask them if they have any of the following:

  • Memberships to pet-sitting associations with strict quality control standards.
  • Behavior analysis to detect an animal’s body behaviors and mannerisms
  • Pet CPR and First Aid
  • Courses they have completed in college for animal sciences
  • Work and skills acquired from working at veterinary clinics or hospitals

There’s no one way to make the right selection of pet sitters whether you are traveling or for daily visits during your work hours. But there are ways you can sort through the top choices and find the right one.