Choosing a pet sitter

Don't leave your pup with Cruella.
Hiring a pet sitter should give you the peace of mind that your animal is being looked after and getting some well-deserved attention while you're out. See these profiles of pet sitters on

Here's what to expect and know when seeking someone to watch after your pets.

Dog walkers usually provide daily walks for groups of dogs.
  • Confirm how many dogs will be on the leash with yours. The smaller a group, the better.
  • Verify that all the dogs will be of approximately the same size (you don't want your Chihuahua trying to keep up with a pack of Great Danes).
  • Confirm whether your dog walker is knowledgeable in dog behavior and can diffuse any problems between dogs quickly and easily.
Companionship and feeding
  • Some pet sitters offer house calls during which they check on your pet(s), freshen water bowls, refill food bowls, provide potty breaks and give your pets attention. Most pet sitters who offer this service will stay with your pet for about 20 to 30 minutes per visit.
Long-term care
When you're away for an extended period of time, pet sitters may be an alternative to taking your pet to a kennel.
  • Talk to a pet sitter about what the best arrangement might be for you and your pet. They may opt to visit several times throughout the day.
  • Some pet sitters even offer to stay in your home overnight while you're away.
  • Ask for referrals
Regardless of which arrangement you choose, make sure your pet sitter has your emergency contact information just in case he or she needs to reach you during your trip. And remember, your pet sitter should have an outstanding rapport with your pet, carry a professional attitude toward caring for your pet, and earn your trust with every visit.

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