You’re excited for your upcoming trip, but there’s just one problem: Who will watch your dog? If you’ve decided to prioritize your peace of mind and your pup’s well-being, you’re probably planning to hire a dog sitter.
A dedicated and experienced caregiver will make sure that your dog lacks for nothing—and has too much fun to mope around missing you. Resources like Rover.com are the perfect go-to, with a huge selection of local sitters just a click away.
So, how do you determine the best sitter for the job? And once you’ve found them, how do you make the most of their services? These are the 7 ingredients for sitter success:
The best pet sitters truly love animals, and the best dog sitters are crazy for dogs.
They won’t just tolerate Fido running around the backyard; they’ll be right there with your pup, enjoying playtime for its own sake. Passionate sitters do this work because they believe that every dog deserves love, respect, and the best care they can give.
What’s more, ardent dog-lovers are likely to have more experience. They often give back to their communities through volunteering, fostering dogs, or working in a vet’s office or doggie daycare. Dogs enrich their lives. Why wouldn’t they spend as much time with pups as possible?
Look for caregivers who have worked with a wide variety of dogs, or more specifically, with dogs who are similar to yours—in age, breed, temperament, and energy levels.
Is safety important to the sitter? Can they provide enough exercise for your pooch? Have they administered medications, or can they learn? Whatever specific needs you have, browse profiles and ask questions to make sure the sitter is the best fit.
Reliable, objective insight from owners fills out the picture that the profile paints. Great reviews can give you confidence as you move forward with your hiring decision.
Some dogs are highly sensitive to a change in environment, while others thrive with variety and new experiences. If you’re not sure whether boarding or staying at home is best, think about what your dog depends on for stability. If routine is vital for your pup, look for a sitter who will stick to your schedule strictly—either in your home or theirs.
Your dog’s social adaptability is another element to consider. Staying in a home with other pets could be a blast if they love making new friends, and for a social pup, it’s an excellent alternative to a crowded kennel. If you know your pet needs lots of one-on-one attention, keep that in mind as you select the ideal environment.
Your home and your pet are two of the most treasured, beloved aspects of your life; appropriate safeguards are important. Sitters undergo background checks and will have this information displayed in their profile, confirming their identity and supporting their trustworthiness. Reviews and referrals provide further guarantees.
Great sitters should be aware of a dog’s basic needs, be able to read your pet’s body language, and provide consistency in each interaction with your pup. People skills matter, too: They should be curious and engaged when you talk, and available for a meet-and-greet.
Your communication is another essential ingredient. Let them know how frequently you’d like updates, and what format works best for you. The clearer you are about your expectations, including detailed instructions and information, the better your sitter will be equipped for the stay.
6. Great Fit With Your Dog
Dream Sitter may have all the right qualifications on paper, but when you meet up, what if their demeanor doesn’t seem quite right for your dog? Don’t feel obligated to hire a sitter who doesn’t click with your canine. If they hate dog parks and your dog is addicted to those daily excursions, look for someone else.
Treat the meet-and-greet like a job interview: Look for someone who’s patient enough to bring out the best in your pup.
7. Let Go & Enjoy
You’ve done it! You’ve browsed, interviewed, and made a choice. The sitter is here and you’re heading out the door for your trip. So what’s that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Leaving your pet behind can be difficult, even if you control for every foreseeable factor. Forget your dog’s separation anxiety—you’re feeling nervous, too!
It helps to make sure the sitter knows your pet’s favorite treats, toys, activities, and places. Make sure the sitter knows your best tips and tricks, and any emergency numbers they might need.
The best sitters are highly adaptable and will rise to the occasion in case of an emergency. Enjoy your journey as much as possible. Your dog is going to have a ball!
About The Author: This article was written by our guest contributor Nat Smith from Rover!
Looking to do the sitting yourself? Make sure to check out our full guide on how to become a dog sitter!