Seven Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Pet Sitter

| September 22, 2012

pet sitters Many people prefer to leave their animals at home with a pet sitter when traveling instead of at a pet day care and boarding facility. If you would like to do the same, use DexKnows pet sitter listings to find options in your area, and then ask these seven questions of anyone you seriously consider for the job.

1. Can you provide proof of being bonded, insured and background checked?

If you hire a pet sitter through an agency, expect it to bond all employees. For example, if one of the agency’s pet sitters were to steal from you, the bond would pay for the stolen items. Insurance covers both damage to your home and injury to your pet and others while under the pet sitter’s care. In terms of a background check, professional pet sitters who provide certified, third-party proof of their honesty and integrity offer you additional peace of mind.

2. How long have you been a pet sitter? Do you have experience caring for pets similar to mine?

When determining whether a pet sitter’s experience proves sufficient, keep in mind your pet’s needs. If you have an older pet in good health who simply needs a pet sitter to provide basic care and company, a less experienced sitter could handle the job. You want a more experienced pet sitter, though, if your pet has health issues requiring multiple medications or behavioral issues that might overwhelm a newcomer to the profession.

3. Can you provide references?

The best professional pet sitters not only post references online, they also provide contact information for verification of those references. Look for at least one reference from a veterinarian, especially if your pet has health issues that make providing care more complicated.

4. How long do you spend at my home while I am away?

Pet sitters typically offer various levels of care, ranging from visits throughout the day to overnight stays that double as house sitting. If you want a pet sitter to simply check in, look for at least a twice-visit per day for active animals, with at least 30 minutes per stay. If you require a full-time pet sitter, ask how many hours within a 24-hour period he or she will spend at your home. Expect to pay accordingly for the level of care provided.

5. Will you provide daily reports?

The best professional pet sitters provide reports via email or phone at the end of the day. This allows you to enjoy your travels without worrying about your pets.

6. What do you do in the case of an approaching natural disaster?

If you live in an area where natural disasters occur during a certain time of year — such as during hurricane or fire season — and you plan to travel during that time, you want a pet sitter who will evacuate your pets if necessary. Get specifics from any pet sitters you interview to ensure the safety of your animals.

7. How do you handle medical emergencies?

Just as you asked for specifics regarding natural disasters, do the same with medical emergencies. Ask a pet sitter to describe the steps he or she would take if your animal were to have a health crisis or become injured. You want a pet sitter who knows how to quickly get care for your pet without panicking. Expect any pet sitter you seriously consider to know animal CPR and first aid, as well as the location of all 24-hour veterinarians in the area.

Pet Sitter Hiring Tips

During your interviews, observe how each potential pet sitter interacts with your pet. You know your pet best and will be able to spot a good match. Also, require a service contract of any pet sitter you hire, one that details the care to be provided, all fees and procedures for emergencies.
DexKnows pet sitter listings will connect you with providers in your neighborhood, and you can choose the best one by getting the answers you need to the above questions.

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Category: Pet Day Care & Boarding, Pets, Services

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.