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Top 5 questions you should ask before hiring a pet sitter

You love your pets and want the best possible care for them, but it’s not always possible to bring them along when you head out of town. Your next best choice is to hire a sitter who showers your pet with as much love and attention as you do. Hiring a reliable, caring pet sitter doesn’t have to be a difficult process, especially if you know the right questions to ask. Here are the top five questions to consider when interviewing potential pet sitters.

1. Why do you enjoy being a pet sitter?

This open-ended question gets the conversation started between you and the pet sitter. By listening to how they talk about animals, you can quickly get a feel for the sitter’s personality and if they are a good match with your furry family member. Based on their answers, you can determine whether the sitter really loves caring for animals or approaches pet sitting just as a job to earn money.

2. What is your pet sitting experience?

It’s important to ask about their pet sitting experience and how long they have watched animals. You want to feel comfortable knowing that your pet sitter is responsible and can handle your pet in any situation, especially if an emergency happens. Ask if they have any professional training with animals. Sometimes vet techs and groomers also pet sit.

3. What services do you provide?

Let the sitter know what type of pet sitting services you require and the specific needs of your pet. Some sitters offer both house and pet sitting services, while some only watch pets in their home. Here are additional questions to ask:

  • Does your pet need to be fed once or twice per day?
  • Does your pet require around-the-clock care?
  • For multiple pets, does the sitter have experience watching both cats and dogs?
  • Will the sitter give your dog plenty of exercise, including daily walks and trips to the dog park?
  • Does the sitter feel comfortable caring for pets with special health and dietary needs and has experience giving medication and shots?
  • Has the sitter watched your specific breed and/or senior pets in the past?

4. What are your fees and do I need to sign a contract?

Ask the sitter in advance about their fees and if they require that you sign a contract. Make sure you clearly understand the sitter’s rates – do they charge hourly or per day? Be very clear about the pet sitter’s duties and responsibilities before you sign the contract and agree to their fees.

5. Can you provide a list of past clients?

Ask past clients about their personal experiences with the sitter. Consider asking these questions:

  • Were you pleased with the sitter’s services?
  • Did your pet and the sitter get along well?
  • Did your pet require any specialized care or have medical/health issues?
  • Would you hire this sitter again to watch your pet?