How to Choose the Best Pet Sitter in Bel Air For You
Updated: Oct 7
I’d like to compare finding a pet sitter or dog walker to The Bachelor. It’s a dating game, really. You have to make sure they jive well with your pets before committing to anything. Though, in my opinion, it’s even more fun to be the matchmaker for your pet and pet sitter or dog walker. Much like a dating show, there are some serious deal-breakers involved. You don’t want to hand your pet or your dog over to just anyone, do you? How do you know if a pet sitter or dog walker is the one for you? How do you choose your pet sitter with confidence?
Let’s discover the personal journey you will be going on to find your pet sitter or dog walker in he Bel Air area. Here’s how to determine who to give the final rose to… or... take care of your pet...
Ask fellow pet owners
You’re more likely to trust a friend than any random resource. Ask your friends, family, and even neighbors who they have used as a pet sitter or dog walker in the past. Knowing someone who is happy with a pet sitter or walker is key. You could even ask them questions you may not feel comfortable asking the sitter and have some background upon meeting them.
See the signs of quality sitters
Don’t reach out to anyone who doesn’t meet the credentials you set forth for your pet sitter or dog walker. Set some “deal breakers.” Sitters should have some of the following qualities:
Have they taken courses to further their pet care education?
Have the sitter or walker provide references of past clients. Check their references.
Have they completed a background check
Are they certified in Pet First Aid & CPR
Compile a list of sitters or dog walkers
Much like a little black book, these sitters should be written down in a centralized place, like on your computer. Do an analysis sort of breakdown:
● If your pet has any specific medical problems only list sitters with experience working with animals with health issues.
● Is the sitter available when you will need them?
● Book a sitter that has worked with your specific animal(s) or is willing to learn: i.e. if you have a dog, see if they have experience with dogs. Same with cats, birds, rabbits, etc. If they take an interest in your pet and are willing to learn, then, by all means, go ahead.
● Book a meet & greet to see how they interact with your pet. It’s a date!
Compare pet sitter and dog walker prices
Write down a reasonable price range that will work for you. You will want to choose a pet sitter or dog walker who fits in your price range. Keep in mind that this is a business for them even when they get to spend their days with adorable animals all day. Sure, you could get Carly the Co-ed for $5 cheaper but she’s probably not insured and it’s doubtful she knows First Aid or CPR for pets. Also keep in mind that a pet sitting company with staff has additional expenses but having a team has definite advantages.
Why do they like pet sitting or dog walking?
Ask them these important “first date” questions. Learn a little bit more about the pet sitter or dog walker. Get a sitter or walker who genuinely enjoys animals, and they’re not doing it just for the money. The open-ended question will help you see if their job makes them sound enthusiastic about their profession. You should see a twinkle in their eye or hear the enthusiasm in their voice the moment you ask them. That’s when you know they’re “the one.”
Can your pet sitter or dog walker meet your pet’s special needs?
Knowing this is crucial. If your animal needs a special shot or med, they should be prepared to administer it. If they need to bathe your pet for some reason, they should be prepared for that too. Make sure they also know what to do if there is an emergency. They should be able to give the same unconditional love as if you were there.
Have your pet sitter or dog walker “go on a date”
Much like grabbing a cup of coffee in the real world, you want a short “meet and greet” between your potential sitter or walker and your pet. It’s always a good idea to do this before making a final decision. You want to make sure your pets are comfortable with your pet sitter or dog walker and vice versa. See how they both interact with one another and use your best judgment. Neither should appear nervous or upset when together. Pets can get stressed out when left alone with someone they’re not comfortable with when you’re gone. So make sure they alleviate that. The first date is the time for both parties to make sure that this is the real deal. It will be like love at first tail wag… or purr!
Finding the right pet sitter or dog walker is not an easy task. But these tips should find you in a more comfortable and confident place when making the final decision. Remember to consider all of these simple rules to follow when picking out your perfect pet sitter or dog walker.
Are you in the Bel Air, MD area? If so, let’s chat! I’d love to get to know your pet family!