How to Find a Dog Sitter

If you’re a dog owner like me, you know how important it is to be able to leave your pet with someone you trust when it’s time for a vacation. I used to worry constantly that my dog sitter wouldn’t show up, or that they’d lose my keys, or worse—that they’d get hurt and sue me. In this article, I’ll help you find the right dog-sitter for your needs so you can go on vacation without the guilt of leaving your dog behind.

Why hire a pet sitter?

  • Your dog will get the attention they need. If you’re going away for a few days, your dog may feel lonely and neglected—that’s why it’s important to hire a sitter who can give them some extra TLC.
  • Your dog will be safe. When you’re away from home, you want to make sure your four-legged friend is still comfortable in their own environment and not having any problems while they’re on their own (or with strangers).
  • You can enjoy your time away without worrying about what’s happening back at the house! Dog sitters will keep an eye out for anything unusual or potentially dangerous situations so that when you return home there won’t be any surprises waiting for you—and hopefully everyone involved has had a great time!

The different types of pet sitters

  • Home-sitting. This is when you leave your dog in the care of someone else’s home, but they live very close to yours. The benefit is that your dog can continue to go over to their house and play with their other pets and enjoy all of the same comforts as they would at home, while also staying close by should anything happen and they need immediate attention.
  • Boarding Kennel. Also known as doggy daycare or kennel, this is when you leave your dog in the care of someone else who has a business set up where dogs stay overnight or during the day while their owners are out of town or on vacation. They provide food and water for them, exercise time if needed (if not already exercised enough), playtime with other dogs if wanted/needed, socialization time with humans if wanted/needed, etc., depending on what type of boarding facility it is. There are many different types of boarding facilities so research them thoroughly before choosing one! Some may not allow all breeds of dogs so keep that in mind too!
  • Walking – Pet sitters will walk pets for an hourly rate anywhere from $10 – $15 per hour depending on how far away from home they need to travel each day ($0-$2 miles equals less money paid). They usually walk multiple animals at once but sometimes just one at a time depending on how big or small each pet may be (elderly cats don’t require much walking). Potty breaks are included.
  • Dog-sitting – Also called house-sitting, this is when someone comes over to your home and spends time with your pets while you’re away at work or on vacation. The pet sitter may stay overnight in your house or just visit during the day. Some pet sitters will bring their own food and water so they don’t have to ask permission from you before eating anything.
  • Pet-sitting – These are services that come to your home and provide care for pets when you can’t. They are usually hired for short periods of time, such as when you’re on vacation or out of town for business. It’s best if they do not stay overnight because it might be difficult for them to get up in the morning to let your dog out or give her/him breakfast.

What should I look for in a pet sitter?

When looking for a dog sitter, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for. A good dog sitter will be:

  • Experienced with dogs. If they haven’t been around dogs before, they may not know how to handle your pet in the best way possible.
  • Experienced with your dog. They’ll need to know things like breed and temperament as well as any idiosyncrasies your dog has—for example, if she hates rain or loves car rides.
  • Flexible in terms of availability and price (if applicable). This will make it easier on both parties if someone needs to reschedule an appointment or cancel at the last minute due to an emergency at work or home life getting in the way. The same goes for accepting alternate payment methods such as Venmo or PayPal rather than cash only—this is especially important if you plan on hiring them for overnight stays because then there won’t be any chance that someone could just run off with all your money!
  • Affordable—you don’t want to break the bank when hiring someone! Trustworthy person who won’t steal things from your house while they’re watching over it. Professionalism is also something that should be taken into account, particularly if they’re in charge of taking care of your animals. They’ll need to know how to administer basic first aid and have a good rapport with both parties involved so that everyone has what they need for their time together.

When selecting a dog sitter, you need to ensure that your dog is comfortable with the person and their dog. This will help ensure that he or she won’t feel stressed during your absence. To make sure this is the case, have them come over for dinner or coffee with the whole family so they can interact with everyone in relaxed situations before leaving the house together. They should also meet in an environment where there are no distractions (e.g., at home rather than out on a walk). It’s also important for them to know about any behavioral issues such as separation anxiety or phobias so they can understand how best to work around them during their visit.

Do pet sitters pass Criminal background checks?

Background checks aren’t required, but it’s good to know if your dog sitter has one. When a background check is required for a job, it means that the employer is extra careful about who they hire. Most jobs in the United States require some sort of background check, so if you’re looking for work and don’t have one on record yet, this might not be something that’s going to happen right away.

Check their references! If they say they’ve sat dogs before and can give you references from past clients (even if they were friends or coworkers), make sure those people are real and contact them yourself. It’s easy enough to check up on someone through Facebook or LinkedIn — just search their name with whatever words they use to describe themselves as a pet sitter (ie “Dog walker” or “Dog whisperer”). If nothing comes up after ten minutes of searching around online, start calling phone numbers until you find someone who knows them well enough to confirm whether or not they’re trustworthy.*

How can I find a good pet sitter?

There are a variety of ways to find a dog sitter.

  • Reach out to your social network. Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know someone who would be willing to pet sit for you during your vacation. If you don’t have any luck with this method, try asking in person at local establishments such as coffee shops or grocery stores, where people are more likely to be friendly and willing to help out with recommendations outside of their normal social circle.
  • Word-of-mouth is another great option because it allows you to connect with people who can relate firsthand about their experience with dog sitting services in their area—and it gives them an opportunity to share some expertise on different services near them that offer quality care for animals but might not necessarily be expensive either!
  • Humane society or dog trainers may also be able to recommend reputable companies in your area. If you’re trying to find a pet sitter service, ask your vet or trainer for referrals. They should already have a list of trusted professionals in your area.
  • If none of these options work for you, there are plenty more ways to find a dog sitter. You can contact your veterinarian or local animal shelter. They might have some recommendations based on the breed and age of your pet’s needs during their time away from home.
  • DogVacay is a network of pet sitters. The site requires all sitters to go through a background check process, and it has a reputation system that lets you see how other users rate the service you’re looking at. You can book your dog sitter right on the site, and it’s just as easy for them to charge you through DogVacay.
  • is a pet care marketplace that connects pet owners with dog sitters and dog walkers. You can search for professionals by location, price point, and other factors. Rover also has an online forum where you can get recommendations from other users about local sitters or even chat with them directly in the forums themselves.
  • Sitter City is a website designed to connect pet owners with dog sitters in their area. The site allows you to search for a dog sitter who fits your specific needs and requirements, including the services they provide, how much they charge per visit, and whether or not they’re insured. You can also see reviews from other pet owners who have used the service before, as well as read about any specialties that the sitter has.

Questions to Ask a Potential Sitter For Peace Of Mind

Before you hire a dog sitter, ask them the following questions:

  • How long have they been doing this? An experienced sitter is likely to have more references and will be better able to handle any issues that may arise.
  • What kinds of dogs are they comfortable with? If your pup has a special need or condition, like separation anxiety or anxiety around other dogs, make sure your sitter is aware of it. The last thing you want is for someone who isn’t familiar with these issues to take care of your pet.
  • What’s their policy on medication? Your dog might need some pills while you’re away—and if they do, you want someone who knows how much Melatonin or Benadryl should be given and at what times (and how often).
  • What’s their policy on crates? Dogs feel safer in their crates when they’re left alone; some sitters prefer not having a crate at all because they think it makes dogs feel trapped instead of safe. Ask what kind of accommodations they can provide so everyone stays happy during this difficult time!  


It’s important to remember that pet sitters are people too! They have lives and other pets of their own. When you find a dog sitter, you also need to be as accommodating as possible. For example, if your dog is potty-trained, maybe the sitter won’t have to walk him as often or can work around his schedule. If your dog is getting older and has mobility issues, the sitter might need training on how to handle him so he doesn’t fall over or get hurt while being walked up stairs. And if you want someone who will take care of all of these things when they’re babysitting your canine companion, it’s best not only to find someone who has experience with dogs (like an actual vet tech!) but also trust that person completely before letting them stay at your home alone with Fido!