What to look for in an ideal petsitter - Housesit Match

What to look for in an ideal petsitter

1 Jul, 2021

What to look for in an ideal petsitter

As a pet owner you may find that you need to be away from home from time to time. And so likely you will want to find an ideal petsitter to care for your pets in their own home. Whether you are going away for a long time, or you are just thinking about trying to do something elsewhere for a weekend, you need to make sure that your pets are being properly looked after. As it happens, it is relatively easy to do this. As long as you are happy to explore options you will find that it’s simple to find an ideal petsitter.

What an ideal petsitter needs to offer you

an ideal petsitter
Most pets love to play, a petsitter at home is ideal

Image Source – CCO Licence

But when considering a pet-sitter, what are the qualities you look for most of all? Knowing this will help you to decide. So it’s definitely something that you are going to want to think about. Let’s  look at what you want in an ideal pet-sitter, regardless of the pet you leave in their care.


It is always a hugely helpful bonus if a pet-sitter is flexible. In part that is because you never quite know whether your plans will change slightly, and it also means that they are more likely to be there on short-notice, which can really help when you are suddenly having to go on a business trip halfway around the world tomorrow or the day after.

Most pet-sitters will display their flexibility early on, as it is generally regarded as an important feature, so you can be sure that you are really getting the help you need when you need it. This is definitely a quality that will put someone right to the top of the list. If someone makes a point of being highly flexible right away, then you will feel a lot happier with that choice.

An ideal petsitter is calm

Even if your pets happen to have a very good demeanour, it’s always good to know that your pet-sitter is going to be as calm as possible. This will help whenever any stressful situation arises, and in general it is just going to enable you to feel a lot more confident about hiring that person to look after your pets. When they are obviously calm, and you can see that right away, you know that you are going to feel so much better about leaving your pets in their care.

an ideal petsitter
Multiple pets at home need care when you go away

Image Source – CCO Licence

To see how calm someone is, it is usually quite a simple thing, and you can tell when you meet them. It’s always good to check out their behaviour with the pets while you are there, so you can get a really good and clear picture. Generally, you will be able to tell straight away if the person in question is calm enough, and if they are then you should definitely think about hiring them for this pet-sitting role.

Remember at the same time, however, that not everyone appears calm on the surface – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are incapable, or that they will fall apart. You need to be accepting of different kinds of people and remember that everyone is different, and some anxious people can nonetheless be perfectly calm when they actually need to be.

Ideal petsitters are trustworthy

Ultimately, what all this comes down to is an ability to trust the individual in question. All of the other qualities are ways to gauge whether you can trust them with your pets. This matters whether you leave your pets for a weekend or for an extended period of time. But trustworthiness is also an important feature in its own right, and one which you are going to want to try to find out about as early on as possible. Ultimately, if you don’t feel like you can trust them, then you are not going to be happy with that choice for looking after your pets!

But how can you ensure someone is trustworthy, especially if you have never met them before? One way might be to look into some of the past reviews they may have received. One of the benefits of using an app or a qualified service is that testimonials are usually attached to profiles. This is easier to check and feels a lot safer than going privately.  You might choose a friend, or a friend’s friend, in which case you may feel confident because they are in your network.

an ideal petsitter
An ideal petsitter loves animals

Image Source – CCO Licence

However you get to the bottom of it, make sure that you are really looking out for this quality, as it might well be the most important of all.

Contactable and easy to reach

When the sitter is actually there in your home looking after your pets, you want to know that you can get in touch with them whenever necessary.

You might want regular updates on how the pets are doing. O you might just want to check-in ad hoc. Then again, sometimes plans change.

You might need to inform them that you are coming back slightly early or late.

In all of these situations the main question is are they readily contactable? It is important. So ask them how easily you can reach them, and test it out before choosing your pet-sitter.

There are things you can do to make all this so much easier, too.

For instance, you might want to make sure that your home has the best SMARTY WiFi, so that your pet-sitter can use that to easily stay in touch through WhatsApp or some other web-based means. 

An ideal petsitter should be happy to you to remain in contact. You should also ensure that you are contactable on your end at all times – so in other words, keep that phone on if you expect them to do the same!

Otherwise you can’t really expect that to be the case on their end.


Image Source – CCO Licence

As long as your chosen pet-sitter is contactable, you will find confidence in their placement. You will feel a lot better about choosing them, and about leaving your pets in their care. This is a simple way to build trust in them and your assigning them the position. Test it out to ensure you can reach them. It will reassure you. 

Most people need an experienced petsitter

There is nothing wrong with hiring a pet-sitter who is brand new to the role. After all, these people need to learn somehow, and this is the only way that they can do so. But it is also reasonable for you to want to use an experienced pet-sitter, especially if you have a lot of pets, or you have difficult pets, or you are due to be away from the home for a particularly long time. Looking for experience is not unheard of, and it’s one of the main things that will direct you as you seek out the best pet-sitter in your local area.

One way to make sure that your pet-sitter is experienced is to use an agency. These agencies will generally train the pet-sitter. As a result even the new ones will have the necessary understanding to look after your pets. It will give you peace of mind. But if you really want to be sure about all this, then look for someone with more experience. If nothing else, it will allow you to truly relax as you hand over your pets to them.

an ideal petsitter
Choose your petsitter to ensure they get on with your pets

Image Source – CCO Licence


Reliability is a great asset in a petsitter

Reliability means slightly different things to different people, but generally it is going to be related to a general sense that you can trust the individual in question to behave how you would expect them to behave. That is someone who is reliable and will be there on time, every time. An ideal petsitter displays the best behaviour and works hard. They won’t let you down on any of these points, ever. Of course, as with many other qualities, reliability is something that has to be proven over time. So unless they have sitter reviews you can check you can’t necessarily know that the sitter is reliable right away.

an ideal petsitter
An ideal petsitter will send regular updates if you ask

Doubtless you can get a pretty good idea of someone’s reliability based on references. Public reviews are especially good for this. And this is information that you should really check before hiring them. If you are hiring a friend, then you will know how reliable they are based on past experience. Also think about what they are like in a crisis. Will they cope when something unexpected happens? All in all, a reliable pet-sitter is one that you can entrust your pets with much more readily.

An ideal petsitter has a love for animals

Finally, you will always want to choose a pet-sitter who has a genuine love for animals. This quality is something that becomes clear very quickly. Once you have met them you will probably see whether they have this right away. Without a love for animals, you can’t be sure that their heart is going to be in the role. However, if they do have this then it really makes a huge difference to the whole assignment. Be sure to look out for this, and you will feel so much better.



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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