We know that not all the places you go are dog-friendly (even though we wish they were). Sometimes you can leave your pup with a friend or even board him at your vet or a trusted boarding business; but other times, it may be hard to find someone available. If you’ve ever considered using a professional pet sitter, we have some tips to look for the right person to care for your dog when you need someone reliable.

Ask Friends & Family

Asking people you trust like close friends, family members, or even a neighbor is a great place to start your search. It’s always nice to know that someone else has had a positive experience in the past with a professional pet sitter, and you may be more trusting of someone if you know they’ve watched other dogs in your life.

Look at Reviews

If you’re using an online website or service to look for a professional pet sitter or even a dog walker, be sure to look at any reviews that might be posted from others. Reviews are a great way to hear from others about their own experiences with a certain sitter.

Meet with Potential Sitters Ahead of Time

Once you’ve narrowed down your search and you think you’ve found a reliable candidate, it’s best to meet with them ahead of time to see how they interact with your dog. Because your dog will be the one spending time with this person, it’s important that they feel safe and comfortable around them.

Ask the Right Questions

If your dog has a strict schedule or routine, ask your pet sitter their availability throughout the day. If your dog has dietary restrictions, ask the sitter if she or he has cared for dogs in the past with similar restrictions. Some other questions to consider could be:

  • Are you able to watch my dog overnight?
  • Do you have other commitments that may cause you to be away from my dog for long periods of time?
  • Do you have any references I could contact?
  • Do you have any experience training dogs?
  • Have you interacted with a dog of my breed before?
  • In case of an emergency, do you have someone who could come watch my dog?
  • How are you in a pet emergency situation?

Prepare Them Well

Yay, you’ve chosen a professional pet sitter! Now’s the time to make sure they know everything about your dog and his or her routine. Make sure to leave some notes about feeding schedules, vet contact information, or any phone numbers for a nearby neighbor or friend who could come help if needed. Make sure your pet sitter knows of any medical conditions or medications your dog needs as well. Even tell them exactly where to find their food, treats, leash, favorite toys, blankets, or bedding.

It’s hard to be away from your pet for an extended period of time, but it certainly helps to know they’re safe with a trusted pet sitter. For more tips, consult your veterinarian or a trusted resource online.