Finding the right pet sitter takes time, and you can’t leave it to chance. You may know other pet owners in your neighborhood such as college kids back for the summer who need a summer job. Consider these essential elements when finding the right pet sitter for you.

1. Know what you need

It may seem simple, but you know what you need to have life work with your pets.   Consider your work and travel schedule and pair that with the flexibility you need from a sitter to receive the most support.  You shouldn’t have to use the line, “I can’t do that. I’ve got to go let my dog out.”  What requests would you make of a pet sitter?

2. Know what your pet needs

While you’ve developed a keen understanding of what your pet needs, no one else has this knowledge.  Match the pet sitter with what your pet needs to make sure it’s a good fit.  Do your pets need a lot of attention while you’re gone or do they enjoy their own space and freedom?  Schedule a Meet-and-Greet to introduce your pet to possible sitters to make sure your pet approves.  If you know what your pet needs, it will be easier to set up your sitter for success.

Pet sitter

3. Know what you expect

Don’t assume potential pet sitters know what you’re expecting.  Even sitters who have a ton of experience need to know what you want and what works for your pets.  Do you expect your sitter to clean the cat’s litter box and administer medicine to your dog? Make a list of what you expect to discuss with possible pet sitters.  A great pet sitting experience begins with a clear understanding of what is required for the job.

4. Know what your sitter expects

Every sitter is different in terms of what they need and want from their job.  Ask possible sitters about their pay rate, availability, and the best way to schedule them.  Find out if they’re comfortable staying the night with your dog or if they prefer to sleep in their own home.  You may need to be flexible with your own expectations if you find someone who is the perfect match.  When you fulfill your sitter’s expectations, you will have a long-term and loyal sitter.

If your search becomes complicated, visit to read profiles from pets sitters in your local area and contact sitters to ask important questions. Many sitters have been rated by other pet owners, and it’s easy to check their availability online.  Don’t give up!  The right pet sitter is out there for you.

This article is written by Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest, a community member.