Everything you need to know to pick the perfect pet sitter

Choosing the right pet sitter can be a difficult choice because our pets are an important part of our family, so we've put together a few key pointers to help you narrow down your search for the perfect sitter.

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Decide what kind of care your pet needs

First of all, you must decide what services you need from your cat sitter or dog sitter (or any animal sitter). Some pet sitters only offer daily check-ins, or just feeding and walking while you’re away.If you think your pet needs more attention—whether that means socialization with other dogs or more constant company from the sitter—you'll want to consider a provider that offers companionship sessions, overnight care in your home or boarding in their home (or kennel), or maybe even someone who can offer grooming or medical expertise as well.

Pick the right price for what your pets need

The second thing to think about is the cost of pet sitting. You'll want to choose a pet sitting service that offers the best care for the price that’s affordable to you. You might find some sitters more affordable than others. If all you need is for someone to come check on your pets once or twice a day, there's no need to pay extra for boarding or overnight care.

If you're looking for dog or cat sitting, you might consider using a boarding kennel rather than in-home sitting. Kennels can be a great way to let your pet socialize while you’re away, and perhaps not feel lonely – but kennels aren’t for every dog or cat (and they’re not always a cheaper option!).

There are also a number of sitters that will take your pet to their home, which can be perfect for dogs and cats who need special attention and comfort (especially if it's their first time away from you).

Try looking for certified pet sitters

Another thing to consider is whether to use a service provider that holds a pet sitter certification. A certified pet sitting service typically costs more that an uncertified one, but you have the added reassurance that your chosen service provider knows what they’re doing, and knows how to handle animals properly. They will have also studied for and taken tests that show they are knowledgeable and proficient enough to hold such a certification. There are no consistent legal requirements for certifications, so make sure both the certification and the pet sitter are up to your standards.

The most important rule of choosing a pet sitter

You may find the best option is anything from simply having a friend swing by to booking an expensive pet resort. But in the end the best choice is whatever (and whoever!) you'll be comfortable with watching your pets. Pick someone you and your pets like so you can travel worry-free and return to happy pets.

To find pet sitters near you, browse listings on MyTime:

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