What should you look for in a dog sitter?

We are all starting to get a little antsy, and as soon as we can, we are going to start planning well-deserved vacations. Our dogs all think we quit our jobs to be with them, so they are going to need a special dog sitter.

I’ve been dog sitting for 5 years, and now that I’m retired from teaching, I am home full time.

This is what you should look for:


A great way to find a reputable dog sitter is through referrals from your local groomer, pet store, or veterinarian.

Family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers may have a reputable dog sitter they can recommend to you.

If you use an on line site like Rover you can read the reviews the dog sitter has on the site.


Cleanliness of the dog sitter’s house inside and outside is important. As you pull up to the house look for a debris free area. Check out the yard for junk lying around or piles of poop that haven’t been cleaned up.

Inside the home should be clean too. Floors, surfaces, furniture that your dog would potentially interact with should be clean. The appearance of the dog sitter should look clean and neat too.

Competence is definitely a trait you should look for in your dog sitter. If you approach the front door and dogs run out this is a bad sign. Dog sitters need to plan ahead for possible escapes and the safety of the dogs in their care.


You definitely want an energetic dog sitter. Someone who is healthy and fit and can move around pretty quickly. Dog sitters should be active and into spending time outdoors. Couch potato or lazy dog sitters are not optimal.

Your dog sitter should show genuine enthusiasm for your dog and all dogs in general. A dog sitter’s light should shine the brightest when they are talking about dogs and when they are interacting with them.

A dog sitter that has empathy for dogs is very important. Showing emotion and feelings for your dog and the ability to understand your dog’s emotions is important. Some dog sitters are much better at this than other dog sitters.


Your dog sitter should have a positive outlook about your dog’s stay. He/she should explain all the wonderful ways your dog will be happy in his/her care.

The openness of your dog sitter’s home is very important. You should feel that you can walk freely about the home inside and out to see exactly where your dog will be staying while you are away.

An organized dog sitter is very important. Your dog sitter should have a system for keeping track of a variety of important issues. Dog sitters should an orderly system for reviewing your dogs upcoming stay in terms of food intake, medicine, contact numbers, and other issues unique to your dog.


How responsive your dog sitter is can you really make or break or vacation. You want a sitter that responds to your texts or calls in a timely manner. Nothing worse than wondering why the dog sitter is not responding.

A responsible dog sitter will be there for all your dog’s needs. Your dog will be taken care of in all the ways you would take care of your dog. Your dog will eat and be taken out in a timely manner. A balance of social interaction, play, and rest are important components of a responsible dog sitter.

Being a receptive dog sitter is important. A dog sitter who can sense what a dog needs intuitively and is able to figure out what your dog’s feeling is very valuable.

Flexible/ Forgiving/Fun

How flexible is your dog sitter? Are drop off times and pick up times flexible? If your plane is delayed or canceled can your dog stay longer? Flexibility also involves being able to drop your dog off for a stay with short notice or switch dates and times of stay.

Forgiving mishaps is crucial. Your dog sitter should be understanding if your dog has an accident in the house, knocks something over, or cries at night because he/she misses you.

Finally, a fun dog sitter can make or break or dogs stay while your away. If your dog is spending a lot of time outside getting fresh air and sunshine, playing with toys, and interacting with other dogs and loving people, you can be sure that your dog is content!

For additional viewing read Meet and Greet Questions Dog Sitters Should Ask.

More stories about dogs read:

1. Dog Sitter Life

2. Rescue Yorkie

3. I Miss You all the Time

Published by momrockzz

I am a newly retired NYC public school teacher blogging about her new life. I’m living a happy retirement life on Long Island - dog sitting, traveling, and experimenting with new endeavors.

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