Finding the right dog sitter to care for your dog while you’re away can be hard, especially when you consider all the extra considerations involved with making sure your dog gets all the love and care they need in your absence. Fortunately, there are some things you can do before deciding on a dog sitter that will help you find the best person to take care of your dog, no matter how long they’ll be staying or what type of care they’ll need. Here are seven ways to find the right dog sitter for your dog!


How To Screen Dog Sitters

If you’re not happy with your current dog sitter, it might be time to consider a change. To find a good one, start by creating a detailed job description based on your own needs and expectations. For example, do you want someone who can watch your dog overnight? Or do you want someone with experience in working with certain breeds? From there, you should create a screening questionnaire and email it out to potential candidates. When hiring dog sitters, don’t just look at references—ask them directly about their experiences so that you know whether or not they’re telling you what they think you want to hear.


Consider Their Experience With Dogs

Think about what kind of dog you have, too. If your dog is older and/or has certain health problems. You might want to look for a sitter who’s been around dogs with similar characteristics. For example, if your dog needs medication on a certain schedule—say every morning at 9 am, you wouldn’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know how to administer pills. If you have several pets or small children in your house, it might be best to find someone familiar with all of these animals or kids. And, as obvious as it sounds, be sure that your potential sitter is comfortable caring for dogs!


Try a Trial Run

Take your dog on a trial run with any potential sitter, even if it’s just for an hour. If you can’t get away from work, ask a friend or colleague to take your pup out for a walk. A short test drive will let you see how comfortable you are leaving your pet in someone else’s care—and give you an opportunity to ask questions about anything that could become a problem later on. For example, does your dog get along well with other dogs? If not, is there anything that could be done about it (like obedience training)?


Ask About Insurance

When it comes to responsible dog ownership, there are some real questions to ask a potential dog sitter. For example, do they have liability insurance? Most reputable services will not only cover damages that your pet causes but also make sure you’re covered in case of an accident. Does she have any references from other clients or pets? When choosing a dog sitter, always ask for references and check them out. If possible, visit their previous clients—you’ll want to see how comfortable your own pup is with their caretaker before you leave him in their hands. Is your sitter going to spend all day at your house or will he be outside at parks and dog-friendly areas? Will your pet get enough attention and exercise during his stay?


Checking References is Important

If you’re entrusting your dog with a stranger, make sure you vet that person by checking references and verifying their information on sites like LinkedIn. If they don’t have any recommendations, be wary. However, if they are sitting other people’s dogs in your same neighborhood and posting pictures on Instagram of them doing so, it’s likely they are responsible dog sitters. It can also be helpful to ask whether your prospective dog sitter has had training or certifications in animal care.


Get an In-Person Meeting With Potential Sitters

There are a few things you can do to find dog sitters who are well-suited for your pup and your situation. First, meet with them in person before leaving your dog with them. This will help ensure that you have a good sense of their character, as well as give you an opportunity to see how they interact with animals. It’s also a great way to evaluate their home and make sure that it’s safe and comfortable. Be picky! Don’t be afraid to take your time in finding someone whose personality and values mesh well with yours. Don’t be concerned if it takes a while—there is no rush, after all.


Use Technology Wisely to Connect with Sitters

Use social media: Post about your dog and needs on social media like Facebook and Twitter; it could be a link that advertises pet sitting services or just an image of your canine companion at play, with a comment inquiring about dog sitters in your area. You’d be surprised at how many people will come forward to offer their services!

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