How to Select A Reliable Pet Sitter

A new year means new opportunities to travel. Who will care for the fur-babies?

PSI’s Get A Real Pet Sitter campaign seeks to educate pet owners on the importance of using only professional pet-sitting services when travel or long work hours keep them from their pets.

“Often pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term ‘pet sitter’ carelessly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a ‘pet sitter,’” explains PSI President, Patti J.Moran. “It is important pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”

This is so true.  Asking friends or family is not always the best choice.  When my mother was in the hospital last year she asked her neighbor to pet sit her dogs.  One of the dogs ran away. It took several days of searching house to house until she finally recovered the missing dog. My poor mother was trying to re-cooperate in the hospital while worrying over her pup. It was a stressful situation, to say the least!

PSI advises pet owners to ask several important questions while interviewing a potential pet sitter:

  • Does the sitter have the proper business license for your city or state?
  • Is the sitter (and any staff sitters) insured and bonded?
  • Can the sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
  • Does the sitter provide client references?
  • Will the sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
  • Is the sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?


Pet sitter


About Pet Sitters International:

Established in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing nearly 7,000 independent professional pet-sitting businesses in the United States, and Canada. For pet owners, PSI offers the Official Pet Sitter Locator, which pet owners can search free of charge to find a local pet sitter. For more information, please visit Pet Sit.

Comments 4
  1. I have been quite inspired tonight. You are absolutely right about having family or friends watch your animals, boarding 3 dogs isn’t cheap plus I boarded my cat 1 time and she wouldn’t look at me for 3 days. It was kind of humerous. Anyway, I’m going to look into this option cause we need a vacation.

  2. This is such a great post with some great advice, thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 I definitely agree that family and friends make the best pet sitters!

  3. This is a tough one. It’s odd – growing up there wasn’t even such a thing as a “pet sitter”

  4. I’d be to afraid to leave my pet with anyone I and my pet didn’t know. :/

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