Selecting The Best Pet Sitter

Cat Care

If you had your way, you’d probably spend all day with your furry friend. If your current employment opportunity allows, you could work from home to satiate this desire—though, this isn’t a reality for most people. Fear not because there are people who would love to watch your companion for you and give them nothing but love while you’re away. Rover, a pet-sitting community, is full of wonderful people; they’ll happily play fetch (with a ball, or stuffed mouse for your feline friend) and ensure everyone is well fed, and that’s just the beginning.

Now that you’re armed with the nation’s largest online network of 5-star pet sitters, let’s consider top tips for choosing the perfect sitter for your unique family member.

  • Determine the amount of time your pet requires. You could start by acknowledging your pet’s happiness in relation to how much time you’re around them. Does your dog require an hour at the dog park to chase tennis balls? Does your cat only climb and scratch the furniture when you’re gone overnight? Sitters on Rover manage their own schedules, so when you’re seeking your pet’s perfect match make sure the sitter is up for the time requirement, whatever that may be.
  • Choose the type of pet care services that work in your (and Kitty or Fido’s) life. Sitters are available for a range of services: from drop-in visits to house sitting, boarding in their homes or half-hour daily walks. Once you determine what your pet needs, you’ll be ready to book the corresponding service.
  • Listen to your pet when he or she meets potential sitters. Once you’ve reached out to sitters who offer the service you’re looking for, schedule a Meet & Greet so everyone can get acquainted. Watch your pet’s body language when interacting with your interviewee. Is your cat normally a purr machine but acts aloof and disinterested with the sitter? Does your dog appear uncomfortable being touched by the sitter? Does the sitter seem unenthused about handling your bearded dragon (we don’t exclude any pets, even the exotic variety!)

If your pet seems like they just need a minute to warm up, be candid with the potential sitter about this. Clue them in on how best to interact with your pet. You know your pet best–your encouragement may be all everyone needs to feel at ease.

  • Be vocal about your expectations. No two sitters are the same, nor two owners! Once you’ve chosen you and your pet’s perfect match, ensure the sitter knows how much you’d like to hear from them, and the medium. Do you prefer a photo a day and a breakdown of the fun daily activities? Or are you looking to take a vacation from your cell phone and only wish to be contacted in case of an emergency? Being clear about what you’re looking for will help you and your sitter enjoy your time away to the fullest.
  • Review your experience. There’s opportunity to review your sitter on their business site–we recommend that you take this time to reflect on the experience overall as well. Would you book this sitter again? Are there any important details that your sitter missed, or should you be more thorough in vocalizing your expectations moving forward? If you’d for sure book the same sitter again, congratulations! If you feel like you and your pet would have a better experience with someone else, head back to step 1 and continue the search for your perfect match.

We wish you and your fluffy (or scaly, or slimy..) friend all the best in your search for the perfect sitter!

Written by Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest, a Rover community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Revised by Courtney Heitter.

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