Dog walker.

When our pets cannot join us during travel or a long work day, it can feel pretty devastating. Our little furry friends are often a big part of our family. It’s the least we can do to make sure that they are in good hands when we have to be away. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has some tips to help you find the perfect pet sitter or dog walker for your family. 

Questions to Ask a Pet Sitter

If you have determined that a pet sitter or a dog walker is a good choice for your pet, it is time to get started trying to find one that meets your needs. You might ask family or friends for recommendations, check out your local neighborhood forums for volunteers, or use an app like Rover

Regardless of where you find your potential pet sitter, though, you will want to be sure to get to know them and ask a few key questions. 

Questions to ask a pet sitter include:

  • Do you have experience with dogs/cats/puppies/senior pets, etc.?
  • How long have you been providing pet sitting or dog walking services?
  • Are you available for the dates and times needed?
  • Can you administer medications?
  • How long on average do you spend with your client’s pets each day or visit?
  • How many times a day do you typically come?
  • How can I contact you?
  • What are your rates? What forms of payment do you accept?
  • Do you carry any insurance?
  • What kind of training techniques do you use?
  • Do you have a relationship with a veterinarian?
  • Are you willing to come and meet my pet?
  • Do you have any references?

There are no right or wrong answers per se, although there may be right or wrong answers for your individual circumstances. Before formalizing a contract, it is important to make sure that you get to know the person who will be caring for your pet. 

Things to Ask Your Pet Sitter’s References

Hopefully your potential pet caretaker will have a reference or two from other households they have worked for. If so, this can be a great resource to learn more about what kind of care you can expect from your hire.

Take some time to ask them what kind of pets they have and what special needs they have. Ask if your potential pet sitter ever had to handle a pet emergency or sticky situations. Find out what kind of tasks the pet sitter completed for their family. How many times have they utilized this person? 

You should also ask about your potential hire’s level of professionalism. Did they uphold the dates and times that they committed to? Were they respectful of personal property and items? Were they happy with the level of service provided? Did they have any concerns?

Perhaps the most important thing to find out, though, is if your pet likes their new friend! A face-to-face meeting is essential! Watch how the person interacts with your pet, how your pet reacts to them, and how you feel that you get along with them. After all, if you don’t vibe, you might as well find out right away!