10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

Updated: Mar 28

Heidi & Hope Pet Services knows you have a lot of options when it comes to pet care in the Naples, Florida area. We also know how hard it is to be away from your furry family member - we've been there! When looking for a professional pet sitter and dog walker, it might be difficult to know what questions to ask to give you peace of mind while you are at work or out of town. That's why we have compiled a list of 10 important questions to ask the next time you need to hire a pet sitter or dog walker!


1) Are you Licensed, Insured, and Bonded?

A pet sitter who does not have insurance and is not a registered business with the state is not a professional and not properly protected when caring for your home and pets. Make sure the sitter you are considering took the necessary steps to get this protection.


2) What Experience and Training Do You Have?

You would not want to leave your furry friend with someone who lacks experience and adequate training. Look for a sitter who:

  • Has years of hands on experience working with animals, especially your specific type of pet

  • Understands how to read pet body language

  • Certified in Pet CPR and First Aid

3) How Do You Handle Emergencies?

We never want to think about emergencies when it comes to our pets, but it is extremely important to have a plan in place should anything happen while you are away. You can ask your potential sitter what he or she would do in case of an emergency with your pet. Many sitters have an emergency plan included in their service contract with you, including preferred veterinarians and emergency contacts in case the sitter is not able to get ahold of you.


4) What Services Do You Offer?

Some sitters offer more than pet sitting and dog walking. Although services and pricing should be clearly outlined on their website or service agreement, it never hurts to ask if sitters provide other services. This way, both you and the sitter know what to expect when caring for your pet. Additional services may or may not include:

  • In-home pet grooming

  • Pet transportation

  • Puppy training

  • Dog hiking and/or group walks

  • Dog waste clean up

5) Will You Consider Specific Needs For My Pet? Will you keep me updated?

Every pet is unique and may require special medical needs, routines, etc. Most pet sitters are fully equipped to administer medications and can keep the same routine for your pet. Let your potential sitter know what the important needs are for your pet and discuss if they can accommodate your requests. Professional pet sitters should also have a consistent way to keep you informed and updated after services with your pet. This could be through their pet sitting software, text messages, email, etc.


6) What About Walking My Dog?

If your sitter will be taking your dog for walks, ask for more detailed information about this service. Providing the sitter with the best places to walk your dog in the neighborhood, if the sitter needs any supplies, and how long the walk should last, will get everyone on the same page for dog walking services.


7) Do You Have References?

Talking with other clients who have entrusted their pets with your potential sitter is one of the best ways to not only learn more about the sitter, but to give you additional peace of mind. You can ask your sitter for references and/or look at their reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.


8) Will You Meet With Me and My Pet Ahead of Time?

Most professional pet sitters require a meet and greet with you and your pet before services start. This is a great way for you to meet your sitter face to face and discuss all of the important information about your pet and home ahead of time. This is also beneficial so your pet can get to know your sitter before actual services begin.


9) Are You Well Connected in the Pet Industry and Local Community?

A professional pet sitter should be well connected with other pet sitters, trainers, and pet businesses, especially in your local community. This also includes local veterinarians, groomers, pet friendly spots, and pet supply stores.


10) Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

Asking questions is essential for providing excellent service. You should give your potential sitter the opportunity to ask YOU questions as well. The sitter should know all of the necessary questions to ask in order to properly care for your pet and your home.


Conclusion

Now that you know what questions to ask a potential pet sitter, you are ready to find the perfect fit for you and your furry family member. Heidi & Hope Pet Services would be happy to help you and your pet in the Naples, Florida area. Please visit our website to find out more!