What qualities should I look for in hiring a professional pet sitter?

Don’t be afraid to interview several pet sitters for the job—and ask a LOT of questions. A good pet sitter won’t have any problem answering questions. If he or she does, move on to the next candidate.

• Membership in professional pet sitting organizations, such as NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) or Pet Sitters International (PSI) Both offer courses, discounts, events. Most importantly, it acts as a “stamp of approval.”
• Is the potential sitter comfortable around animals? Does he or she have experience in your particular species; for example, you wouldn’t want to hire a pet sitter for your dog if he or she has only taken care of cats.
• How does your pet react around him or her? Animals can be great judges of character; if the pet seems uncomfortable, it’s a red flag!
• Is he or she insured and bonded? This is a legal agreement and gives an element of trust when deciding to hire a pet sitter. Liability insurance to protect the client’s pets or homes in the event of an accident, as well as insurance that covers bodily injuries while caring for a pet.
NOTE: They can easily get it through independent companies or through NAPPS and PSI.
• Is the potential pet sitter reliable and professional? If he or she shows up late, or not at all, for the interview, it might be a reflection of how your pet will be taken care of.
• Is she certified in animal CPR? This is just one more layer of marketability–you want to know that this person will know how to act in the event of an accident or emergency.
• Is the potential sitter courteous, professional and friendly? If he or she seems short-tempered or abrupt with either you or the animal, this is not the person for you.

• What are their fees and what do they include? For instance, if you’ll want someone to take your pet to the vet or groomer, you’ll want to know if those services are offered.

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