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Dog Sitter. How to Choose the Best for your Dog.

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Dog Sitter. How to Choose the Best for your Dog.

Dog Sitter. How to Choose the Best for your Dog.

Planning a vacation or traveling for work? Planning your families vacation is always such a fun and exciting process and at points sometimes challenging. Deciding on pet care during your travels is often the most difficult decision that has to be made. Instead of boarding your dog at the kennel or burdening a friend with doggie, kitty or reptile duty, consider another option. More and more pet owners are now deciding to use the services of a professional pet sitter. Pet sitters do much more than provide a pet with food and water while their guardian is away from home. A professional dog sitter provides piece of mind to traveling pet owners by caring for their two most precious things, their pets and their homes. A good dog sitter also spends quality time with the animal, gives him exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. 


Selecting a Dog Sitter

Selecting a dog sitter takes a little more effort than dialing a random number you may see in the Yellow Pages. When searching for a pet sitter I always recommend using the pet sitter locator on NAPPS ( NAPPS is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. On the main page of their site a pet parent can enter their zip code and get an immediate list of dog sitters who service their area. Another great resource is contacting your veterinarian and asking friends for a referral to a pet sitter they may have used or heard good things about. Dog parents can also contact their local chamber of commerce for a pet sitting referral.


7 Tips for Choosing a Dog Sitter


  1. Ensure the company is fully bonded and insured.
  2. Check the company’s references; ask for at least three.
  3. Let your sitter know how you would like him/her to use their time in terms of walking, playing, feeding, cleaning, etc.
  4. Confirm that your sitter has undergone a criminal background check and has received proper training.
  5. Provide medical and behavioral history about your dog as well as veterinary and other emergency contact information, and gather all necessary supplies, including food, vitamins, and treats in one central location.
  6. Pre-interview a sitter with your dog present to observe interactions and establish a “comfort level” for both you and the dog.
  7. Verify that the sitter can accommodate both your dog’s daily feeding and walking schedule as well as your desired vacation schedule, even during the busiest holidays.



Make sure your Dog Sitter is a Professional

The pet sitting industry is like a teenager. It has been around for a little while and people know about it however not all aspects of the industry have fully matured. The most important is to find a professional pet sitter. The difference between a hobby sitter and a professional pet sitter can easily be identified by checking to ensure the sitter is licensed, bonded and insured. Making sure your sitter is insured and bonded is essential to the well being of your home and possessions as well as the direct care of your dog. Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven't also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:



  • Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
  • Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
  • Affix current identification tags to your dog's collar.
  • Maintain current vaccinations for your dog.
  • Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
  • Leave dog food and supplies in one place. 
  • Buy extra pet supplies in case you're away longer than planned. 
  • Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your dog sitter each other's phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out. 
  • Show the dog sitter your home's important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.



Once all of these items are in place you can relax and have a great vacation knowing your pet and your home will be in very capable hands. And remember to bring your dog sitter's phone number in case your plans change!









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