Top dog sitting tips for beginners

23 Sep, 2021

Top dog sitting tips for beginners

If you are starting out on your petsitting journey either as a housesitter and petsitter take a look at these dog sitting tips. They are offered to help you prepare yourself for dog minding in the absence of the pet owner.

Top 7 dog sitting tips for beginners

top dog sitting tips
Start dog sitting with a dog you feel comfortable caring for

If you have just started dog sitting as a way to spend time with pets and dogs especially, read this blog. We will share our top 10 dog sitting tips for those who are just starting that journey. With any luck if you follow these steps we will also help you find the ideal dog sit to suit you and your skills.

Dog sitters

Live in dog and house sitter

If you are planning on becoming dog sitter you might well find that you are invited into a home to become a live in dog and housesitter.

Alternative to kennels

As a dog sitter you offer a great alternative service to kennels and dog boarding.

1. How to become a dog sitter – Match your skills and experience

The best idea is to start with a local dogsit near home so you can get to know the pet. If it has been a while since you had a dog yourself this experience can be a great refresher. Do some research so you know a little about the dog and the dog breed. Some dogs have particular habits so it is worth asking the pet owner if you can meet them and go for a dog walk together. Ask about the favourite local dog walks and parks.

At the end of the petsit, ask the pet owner if they will write you a reference after the dog sit is completed. Then you could consider joining a pet sitting and house sitting website to find a new dog sit opportunity, perhaps a little further away.

2. Find the right dog sit – Make it an enjoyable assignment

Once you have a little experience under your belt you can start looking for your next dogsit. Be realistic. Think about the type and number of dogs you would be happy dog minding. Some large dogs take a lot of handling, so you may need to be strong and experienced in order to consider some dog sitting opportunities.

you need a dog
Look for the right dog sitting assignment to start as a dog sitter

3. Dog sitters prepare for the dog sitting

Research to get the job done well

Make sure you talk to the pet owner before you accept the dog sitting assignment. Find out what is expected of the pet sitter so you know what is involved in the pet sitting assignment.

Pet care preparation

If at all possible try to meet the dog first, or at least get to see it on a ZOOM or Virtual meeting so that you understand the size and temperament of the animal.  If the pet owners have used pet sitting services before look at their reviews to see what other sitters have written.

Ask about the dog you will be minding.  What kind of dog nutrition is required, do the owners allow dog treats. What are the routines, ask them to write them down for you.

4. Dog walkers routines

Dogs are intelligent creatures and most are also very physical and need exercise. You will need to learn the dog walking routines for each of your canine charges. What do they wear on their walk, does it include a harness, a collar and a muzzle or any of the above? Do they stay on the lead while they are out of the home property? Or can they be allowed to run free in a park and if so where abouts? And most importantly do they come back on recall? All these issues are important to understand before starting your dog sitting.

top dog sitting tips
Find out about the best dog walking routes for your dog

Learn a little about the local area, and the local dog walks. Ask the dog owner if they or the dogs have any favourite routes that might be of interest. And equally are there walks to avoid.

5. Dog behaviour – How are they with people and other dogs?

This is essential for you to learn, preferably before taking your first assignment. Can the dogs be allowed to walk freely, and how are they with other dogs? If the dog you are minding is female then what are the rules around mixing? And do you need to worry about the dog in the company of people the dog does not know?

6. Come to a pet sitting agreement – Document your agreement

It is always best to document what you have been asked to do and the information you’ve been given. This is best for you and the dog. In particular document the following:

  • Where is the local vet and ask for their contact details
  • Pet insurance information
  • Pet passports if they exist with details of age and inoculation, for your reference in the owner’s absence
  • Feeding routines
  • Medication required – what it is, for which pet and how often it is administered
  • Favourite walks
  • Agreement on anything else you need to do for the dogs

7. Find more dog sitting opportunities

At the end of the dog sitting assignment you can start to look for other dog sits that appeal to you. Once you have some experience you may also want to take your dogsitting further afield. You can join a petsitting and house sitting website to start gathering your petsitter reviews online. That way you have a profile that reflects your experience for other dog owners to see.

A final thought dog sitting tips to prepare for a dogsit

A love of dogs will take you quite far in a dog sitting assignment. However, all kinds of things could happen to the dog, to you while dogsitting. So it is best to prepare as far as possible.

Enjoy your dog sitting adventures!


More useful blog links about dogs and dogsitting with Housesitmatch

At we always try to share useful and informative blogs and practical advice with our members. Read on to find some helpful articles with useful tips for dog owners and dogsitters about dogsitting.

What is dog sitting with Housesitmatch?

Dogsitters near me – Is that what you need?

Dogsitters’ tips – Dog’s body language and how to read it



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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.