Leaving your pet in another’s care can be stressful. Ask a potential dog walker or pet sitter these questions:
Can I meet you before you provide service?
Professional pet sitters will insist on this. Meet and interview the sitter and see how they interact with your pet.
What experience do you have that qualifies you to take care of my pet?
Ask about the sitter’s length and type of experience. Do they have any training or certifications?
Do you have an agreement outlining your services and pricing?
A professional sitter will have a document that explains exactly what to expect from them and what your responsibilities are.
Have you passed a criminal background check?
If the sitter has not, run away. Fast.
Are you bonded?
Bonded sitters have money secured by a third party to cover the cost of any items missing from your home.
Do you have insurance?
Liability insurance covers costs should anything happen to your pet while in the sitter’s care. Workers’ comp insurance covers costs if the sitter is injured while providing service.
Will you provide references?
Request the email and phone number of 3 current clients. If the sitter will not provide them, that’s a red flag.
How will you communicate with me?
The sitter should communicate that the service was completed and give a brief report. You also need to be able to communicate any changes to the sitter.
What happens if you are not able to provide service?
If there is a back-up person, ask to meet them and make sure they also meet the above criteria.
What are your emergency procedures?
Accidents happen. What’s the sitter’s plan to handle them?
Carefully vetting a professional dog walker or pet sitter ensures peace of mind while you are away from your beloved pet.
PHOTO CAP: Fetch! co-owners Sue Reeg (left) and Cora Baker with their dogs Lou and Sadie.