How To Choose a Pet Sitter

Thinking of Hiring a Pet Sitter?

Choosing the right pet sitter for your dog or cat is crucial to your pet’s well-being and safety while you’re away. If hiring a pet sitter is something you’re thinking of, for now or in the future, here are some things to think about if this is all news to you!

You are entrusting your fur baby to anothers care, whether your home or the pet sitter’s home for boarding, or if you’re still in the kennel stage – consider these suggestions when choosing who will care for your pet in your absence.

Find Your Perfect Pet Sitter

  • Qualifications

During your Meet and Greet with your potential pet sitter, ask whether they’ve completed any special courses – such as Pet First Aid CPR.
Dog CPR and First Aid ~ Recertification is necessary every 2 years.

Additionally, if your pet has any special needs, medications, food or behavior issues, the pet sitter must feel comfortable managing them while you’re gone.

  • Communication

How will your pet sitter communicate with you while you’re away? Professional pet sitters will record daily notes about your pet’s activities, eating habits or mood. PetStay Today sends you digital photos daily to let you see exactly how your dog is feeling, doing and the quality of care they’re receiving.

  • Services and Fees

It’s important that you’re both on the same page about what’s expected, and the fees involved, the length of stay, pick up and drop off times. We aren’t open to the public for drop ins – we schedule by appt and reservation only.

  • Reviews and Recommendations

Your pet sitter should be able to show you reviews with recommendations for pet sitting services and in-home boarding. In addition, any pet sitter, or boarding kennel, should want to interact with your pet, and you, prior to your absence. Look up those reviews and read them carefully!

If you find the one-on-one interaction of pet sitting demands too much of your time and/or attention, and you prefer to deal with institutional kenneling, it’s best to Avoid disreputable kennels by knowing who they are.  You’ll find them by careful research for their reviews, and they’re out there.

  • Medical Release Form

In New York State, an attending veterinarian can’t treat a pet without their owners permission. A very important document that is often overlooked but, dogs especially, can be unpredictable in their reactions to the stimuli around them in a new environment. Even the smartest dog in the world has a developed mentality of the average toddler. A professional pet sitter will have you sign a medical release form in the event of an emergency, or sudden illness, so that your pet can get necessary medical treatment should the need arise!

Unless you already have signed forms filed with your own veterinarian, expect a concerned, conscientious and professional pet sitter or boarding kennel to ask you to sign a medical release form. (Please download and print our Veterinarian Release Form prior to your pet’s stay.)

  • Read the Fine Print in the Contract

Read the entire boarding contract before signing. Many kennels state in their contract –they aren’t responsible nor liable if your dog is killed or injured while in its kennel. Personally, if I were to bring my dog to an institutional kennel, which I would not, I would never sign such a contract. It tells me (a) there’s a chance it has happened before (b) there isn’t enough oversight of the dogs’ interactions (c) dogs aren’t fed regularly and/or (d) food bowls are picked up in 15 minutes whether the dogs ate or not.  Many kennels utilize this practice – and the dog hasn’t had a chance to eat! There is a belief that if the dog is hungry enough, or when they get hungry, they’ll eat. This just isn’t true. Under those depressing circumstances, a dog is much Less likely to eat and more likely to fall into depression, become agitated, irritable and anxious ..  just like a person would.

  • Who’s Watching The Dogs?

If you’re bringing your dog to an institutional boarding kennel ~ fleeting distress signals of discomfort, anxiety, bullying, and severe anxiety in some dogs may be overlooked by staff, so it’s crucial that someone is personally supervising dogs’ play time in person – not merely with video monitors.

Ask if the kennels’ policy is to exercise dogs in one group together for socializing. Regardless of how they limit the number of dogs in the group – Big Dogs should always be separated into their own group of Big Dogs. Some big dogs, who can be of the sweetest ever nature, may see small and/or medium breed size dogs as prey and kick off long lost or even unknown hunting instincts. Be very wary of any pet sitter or kennel that mixes big dogs with dogs other than big dogs, whether its out of negligence or ignorance, its a dangerous mix.

Remember to ask the pet sitter or kennel’s policy regarding actual human accompaniment while dogs exercise, play and have potty time. Some pet sitters and kennels may leave dogs to run around in groups, or separately, unsupervised as a general policy.

Here at Pet Stay Today, dogs are never let outside alone to play or tend to business. I always accompany each and every dog into our fenced-in backyard. It’s our opinion that leaving a dog outside alone is like letting a toddler play outside alone. We guarantee a safe and pleasant stay for your much loved doggy!



One thought on “How To Choose a Pet Sitter

  1. My friend is thinking about going on vacation, and they weren’t sure what they should do with their dog. I really like that you say to find out how your pet sitter will communicate with you while you are away. If I had a dog, I would want to know that they are doing okay, and that they can contact me if something goes wrong.


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