One of the hardest things to do as a dog parent is to find someone you trust to leave in charge of your home and your pup or pups when you are out of town. You need to find someone you trust completely so that you can relax and enjoy your travels when you are out of town. When looking for a dog sitter you can check local listings in your area, reach out to friends and family for recommendations, and take out your own ad in a local paper if need be. The important thing is that you completely trust the person you are leaving your home and most precious belongings with. It’s a good idea to find two dog sitters you trust, that way if one is booked up or out of town, you always have another option.
Finding the right dog sitter isn’t a perfect art and if you have multiple dogs it’s going to be quite a task, but there are some questions that may help you make a decision if this is the right person to leave with your pup or pups when you are away.
1. What is your past experience with dogs?
2. Do you have any allergies?
3. Have you owned dogs in the past?
4. Did you grow up with dogs?
5. Have you dog sat before?
6. How much time have you spent around dogs in general?
7. Do you know dog CPR?
8. Do you know when a dog needs to go to the vet?
9. What if you can’t reach me and my dog is very sick, what would you do?
10. Do you know the symptoms of an ear infection?
11. What would you do if my dog pukes on the floor?
12. What would you do if my dog is limping?
13. What would you do if my dog starts scratching and creates a hot spot?
14. Do you work? If so, do you work from home? Do you go into an office? What is your work week like?
15. Do you go out a lot or are you a homebody?
16. Do you have any obligations at your own home (kids, other pets, etc) that you would need to tend to while I’m out of town?
17. What do you need to be able to do your work from my home? (Internet? TV? Fax?)
18. Are you okay with picking up and dealing with dog poop?
19. What would you do if my dog got out or away from you and got lost?
20. Can you say “no” to a dog?
21. Do you travel over the holidays? If so how long are you gone?
22. Do you pay attention to the animals around you? Would you notice if someone was limping or didn’t feel well?
23. Can you break up a squabble between dog siblings? Can you see the squabble coming and nip it in the bud?
24. Do you know how to give a dog a treat so they don’t nip your fingers?
25. Would you ever walk a dog without a leash?
26. Do you like to have friends over?
27. Do you like to give lots of treats?
28. Would you ever leave a dog in a car for a few minutes while you run into a store?
29. Do you know how to give a dog medication?
30. How much do you charge?
Once you find the right dog sitter it’s a good idea to have them over to spend time with your pup before you leave town. Let the pup and your new dog sitter get to know each other and watch how they interact over the course of an evening or afternoon. You don’t want your dog feeling abandoned with a total stranger.
What other questions do you ask when you are interviewing a potential new pet sitter? What would you want to know? Let us know in the comments.