Choosing a Pet Sitter

Pet sitter Lorna with her cat, Fweedie Five Essential Qualities of a Good Pet Sitter
Questions to Ask a Prospective Pet Sitter

Choosing a pet sitter is a very important decision and should be done with great care.  You are entrusting both your pet and home to this individual.  Here is some information, criteria, and lists of questions to ask which can help you with this decision.

Five Essential Qualities of a Good Pet Sitter

  • Passion for Pet Sitting.  Loves pets and loves pet sitting.  Has good, long track record.
  • Protects and Cares for Your Pet.  Spends quality time with your pet.  Arranges the environment to ensure that your pet is comfortable and well cared-for. 
  • Protects You.  Well organized, employs practices and resources that safeguard you, as pet guardian and home owner.
  • Knowledgeable About Animal Health.  Experienced in the care of animals.  Knows what to do in case of an emergency.  Can recognize signs of a pet having a potential health issue. 
  • Client-Focused.  Flexible and accommodates your needs.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Pet Sitter

Passion for Pet Sitting:

  1. Do you have your own pets?  If so, how many and for how long?
  2. How many years have you been pet sitting?
  3. Can you provide at least 5 good references from long-term clients? 

Protects and Cares for Your Pet:

  1. What do you do if supplies, such as food or litter, run out while I'm gone?
  2. How much time will you spend with my pet?
  3. (Dog Walks) How many dogs do you walk at one time?
  4. (Dog Walks) How long are the walks?
  5. (Pet Boarding) How much space will my pet have?
  6. (Pet Boarding) Will my pet share space with other animals?  If so, how many and under what circumstances? 
  7. (Pet Boarding) What is the temperature like in the space in which my pet will be staying?
  8. (Pet Boarding) Do you have toys that my pet can play with, or should I bring my own?
  9. (Pet Boarding) What supplies do I need to bring for boarding my pet?
  10. (Pet Boarding) What kinds of precautions do you take to ensure that my pet does not ingest or choke on potentially harmful articles around the boarding space, such as rubber bands, small balls, plastic bags, strings, etc.

Protects You:

  1. What kind of insurance do you have? 
  2. What and who does the insurance cover?  Does it protect me, the pet guardian, against liability?
  3. Do you have advertising on your vehicle?
  4. How do you keep track of your clients' house keys?
  5. Do you keep back-up keys?
  6. Do you use employees?  If so, are you bonded?
  7. Regarding a client's home, what is the most difficult or challenging situation you have faced as a pet sitter, and how did you handle it?

Knowledgeable About Animal Health:

  1. Do you have experience or training with medications?  If so, how did you get this training?
  2. Do you have any medical or veterinary training?
  3. Regarding the well-being of a client's pet, what is the most difficult or challenging situation you have faced as a pet sitter, and how did you handle it?


  1. What are your rates?  Do you offer discounts for clients experiencing financial hardship?
  2. How much advance notice do you need in order to schedule visits, boarding, or walks?
  3. If I am away longer than expected, will your schedule allow you to continue caring for my pet until my return?