Guidelines for a successful pet sitting

17 Dec, 2019

Guidelines for a successful pet sitting

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If you are a pet owner you share the concerns that many of us have about finding pet sitters. Pet sitting is a big thing for pet owners. Can you find the ideal pet sitter? Are they trustworthy pet sitters? Do they love animals? Will your pets take to them?

Pet sitting top tips

is petsitting a good job
Help the sitter get to know your cat

Are you looking for a pet sitting gig? Or are you expecting to be apart from your pet for quite some time? Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares how both employers and petsitter contractors can make the whole ordeal easy on each other.

Finding trusted pet sitters

People can be very attached to their pets. In fact, while some can’t stand to be away from their pets at all. Others go out of their way to hire pet sitters or find kennels and catteries of pet hotels. Even hiring petsitters for when they’re not around can become a very expensive activity.

If you are looking for a pet sitter or are interested in becoming one, the following tips will help make things easier.

pet sitting
Finding live in dog sitters is great to keep pet dogs engaged and well cared for

Employers and pet owners

As the pet owner, it is important that you prepare well when hiring a pet sitter and bringing them into your home.

The tendency is that sometimes, we assume that other people would be just familiar with our place if we leave it in their care. But preparation is really important for this arrangement to be a success.

Prepare for the pet sitter

There are always expectations on both sides, for the pet owner and the pet sitter. There are ways to optimise the success of your arrangement through regular communications and preparation.

Consider all the information the petsitter might need.

And by return make sure you have questions ready to learn about pet sitter.

Professional pet sitting service

Before you commit to an expensive professional pet sitting service consider your options. You can join a housesitting and petsitting platform like where the pet house sitter will exchange their services for free in exchange for free accommodation. Some services come highly recommended with good Trustpilot reviews. Check them out.

Live in petsitter

Preparing for a live in petsitter is especially important. They will be in your home caring for your pets. Failing to prepare may risk the relationship if the pet sitter doesn’t know the important facts about your pets and home.

In order to avoid this, employers need to give adequate time for turnover of instructions.

Live in dog sitter for a dog sit

Dogs are intelligent creatures and need attention and care. So you need to give some thought to the responsibilities you are asking a pet sitter to take on.

Someone to look after my dog in their own home

Make a lists of priorities for the petsitter. If you have a dog and you want them cared for in their own home this is essential. Things to consider include:

  • Feeding times
  • Exercise and walk times
  • Treats
  • Sleeping arrangements for the pet
  • Do they need a coat when they go out in cold weather
  • If medication a requirement.

Pet sitting and housesitting agreement

At we strongly advise all our members to prepare a document with all the details that are pertinent to the housesit or pet sit. Details about the pets, the local vet, pet’s insurance, and all the routines of the pets and home should be documented too.

As part of our membership package, we offer a template that can be used by all parties so that everyone knows what is expected and a good brief possible. It also offer a prime opportunity to discuss means and frequency of communication then the owner is away.

It isn’t enough to simply wait for the pet sitter to arrive and just leave the keys in their hands. Just as you expect good care and attention for your pets and home in your absence so you should take time and care to brief the sitter properly.

Live in pet sitter

Brief them on the pet routines

Every pet home has different routines. Times of feeding, medication and exercise will vary from home to home, and climate to climate.  Write down what you expect them to do and give them the tools to do it. Show them where is the pet food, and the treats. Show them the local vets and all the pet documentation they might need should an unexpected accident happen.

House routines and layout

If they are live in pet sitters then they need to know the house routines and layout. Where is the electric fuse box in case the trip switch is triggered? Where do you keep the rubbish bags and when are the bin collections?

They have to be familiar with the vital rooms, locations of related pet stuff, and also the do’s and don’ts in the household.  Also, it helps if you keep hazardous areas and products entirely off limits to make double sure this is a safe pet sitting.  Securing the dryer, trash bins, cupboards and other areas will keep the responsibility of the sitter limited and will help avoid unnecessary mishaps.

Finding the ideal petsitter

Of course, choosing the right sitter is just as important as finding a pet boarding solution. So when recruiting one, be sure to choose someone who is experienced, especially if you have a pet that is regularly anxious or requires constant interaction. You will have your own requirements in what you will believe to be your ideal pet sitter.

Live in Pet sitter

There are many advantages to having a live in pet sitter. It is believed that having a sitter living in can reduce a dog’s separation anxiety.

You will also need to agree on the location before initiating the relationship. Usually, pet sitters are contracted to come to your home on a daily basis or to stay over and care for the pets in your home for the duration of your absence. However, there are also those that run day care-like services wherein you drop off your pet and pick them up at specified intervals.

pet sitting  pet sitting

pet sitting day care

As soon as the specifics of the pet sitting assignment have been decided upon, you should have full trust in your sitter. It won’t help if you contact them every now and then to check up. Leave your pet in their care and be sure you shared all necessary information to the sitter.

Pet Sitters

Both beginner and experienced pet sitters need to prepare for the job because every household, every pet, and every owner are different. Hence, if you are an aspiring pet sitter, it would really help if you have extensive knowledge about the different pets and have prior experience related to the upcoming job.

If time permits, you should research everything that may concern the pet’s daily routine, their diet, and activity preferences. Whenever possible, ask questions, such as the location and contact number of the nearest veterinary office, pet store, important bus routes, and other pertinent information.

After all the vital information have been exchanged, it would also be good for your rapport if you ask the pet owner how often they want to be updated about their pet’s condition. Some don’t want to be updated at all, but there are also a few who have certain preferences, such as hourly updates or twice a day. By taking this initiative, they will see how proactive you are and how dedicated you are to the task.

Above all, pet sitters should innately love pets. Remember, your enthusiasm on the job shows in the way you handle pets and interact with them.

Choosing a pet and house sitting website

Your selection of one or two housesitting websites is important both as homeowner and house sitter. Whether you like a free housesitting website or a paid for site, it is worth taking a moment to consider the benefits and challenges of both.

Paying websites

Some people are happy with the house sitter as a free non paying guest in their home. However, they want the security of knowing the sitter has been checked for their safety. Housesitting websites like HouseSit will check the ID of the sitter before they are allowed to apply for housesits.

In addition most sitters have a background check so criminal record checks have been shared with the site management. This keeps the website, the network and all involved as safe as can be.

Benefits of paying housesitting websites

  • Sitters are checked for safety before they can apply for sits advertised
  • The checks display on the sitter profiles
  • There is usually a small annual fee which is cheaper than the per visit cost of a professional house and pet sitter
  • There are funds to pay professionals to run the website
  • The security systems are managed by paid specialists and security is of paramount importance
  • Both parties pay to be members, homeowners and housesitters for equity in the housesitting arrangement.
Dog walking is an essential task on a dog sit

Free websites

Other people want a real bargain and don’t want to pay for the housesitting website service either. On the surface it might seem like a real bargain, but take some precautionary steps. There is a lot to be said for taking time out to vet your housesitters. Do they have background checks already? Do you even know who they are for sure?

Benefits of free house sitting websites

  • There is usually a small annual fee which is cheaper than the per visit cost of a professional house and pet sitter
  • Homeowners do not pay to be members of this type of site
  • Housesitters usually pay a small annual fee to have access to the housesitting assignment advertisements.

A final word on free house sitting websites and free housesitters

There is an old adage ‘If you’re not paying for it, you are the product’. This is largely true. Always ask yourself how is the other party benefitting?

If they appear to get nothing from the arrangement then you maybe the star turn on offer! And always check the housesitting website’s reviews and reputation on line.

Pet sitting overall …

Pet sitting requires effort on the part of both pet owner and sitter. Although pet behavior varies from household to household, there are certain characteristics of pets that are common and pet sitters will understand this. If you are also aware of these, you can safely leave your pets with other people and not worry about ruining your relationship with them.

Moreover, the pets often enjoy the stimulation of new people, it can make your relationship all the stronger.

Dog sitter near me – What are you options

If you are adopting a dog as a family pet it is highly likely you’ll start looking for petsitters. Check out Housesitmatch and the options we offer you.


Join a professional service that offers access to help you find free checked live in petsitters and housesitters, for a moderate annual fee. These petsitters will help you keep pets at home safely and happy in their daily routine.

Further reading about pet sitting and housesitters

At Housesit we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

Pet sitting services from Housesit Match

Pet and housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

Preparing a home for a house or pet sitter

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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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