What Should You Expect From A Professional Pet Sitter?

There are many articles out there on “How To Find The Right Pet Sitter” or “What To LookDSCN0178 For In A Pet Sitting Company” but what happens after that? After you’ve hired the pet sitting company and they’ve taken care of your pets for the first time, how do you know if your pet sitting service is really that good and is “the one”?

Here are a couple of key things to help you determine if your pet sitter is “the one”.

Your pet sitter/pet sitting company should be professional

Yes, we are taking care of dogs and cats which doesn’t require the same level of professionalism as say, meeting with your lawyer, but a professional pet sitting business should be just that…professional.

Your pet sitter should be:

  • Friendly and considerate when you interact with them
  • They should listen to your concerns and answer any of your questions
  • Dress professionally (obviously a pet sitter isn’t going to show up to your house in a suit and tie but they shouldn’t be letting their “goods and services” hang out, have ripped up raggedy clothes on or wear clothes with profanities/offensive material on them)
  • Answer phone calls, texts (if they allow them) or emails within a reasonable amount of time, especially while your pets are in their care

Your pet sitter should make you feel comfortable 

We all have different ways of training, disciplining and overall interacting with our pets. Your pet sitter should respect your wishes when it comes to handling your pets.

It’s okay for your pet sitter to politely offer suggestions of things they think may improve your pet’s quality of life, behavior or your relationship with them but they shouldn’t be pushy, use their own methods without your permission or be condescending to you about the way you do things.

Your pet sitter should leave your house clean and well taken care of

This statement is not to be taken out of context of course. Your pet sitter is not going to come in to your already messy home and clean it for you, but they should leave your home exactly how they found it.

  • Your pet’s water bowls should be clean and mildew free
  • Your cat’s litter box should be clean and the area around it swept (obviously depending on the amount of time the has lapsed between visits their may be some litter on the floor but there’s a big difference between the build up of a few hours to a day and several days of neglect)
  • Dog/cat food cans should be in the garbage or recycling not left on the counter with left over food in them
  • Leashes, collars etc. should be put back where they were found
  • Some pet sitters will even do a bit of vacuuming for you to clean the build up of pet hair before you return home

While some of these things may seem a bit obvious while others seem a bit overly critical, maybe even “demanding”, when you’re trusting someone to care for your fur babies and paying top dollar for them to do so, you should expect the best and nothing less.

Disclaimer: pet sitters are humans and are bound to make mistakes,especially during the first few visits when your pet sitter is really getting to know your pets and their routines. Give them a bit of grace and respectfully address any concerns you may have with your pet sitter or the owner of the company. 


  1. Great blog here and I also shared on my Google+ page for others to see.

  2. Pointing out some other very important distinctions on ‘Pet Sitter Professionalism’ here are a few more. Bonded and Insured, Professional Association (NAPPS or other) BBB Accredited and Pet CPR & 1st Aid Certified.

    Being serious about the safety, welfare and fun for the Pets while the Pet Parents are away at work or traveling is very different than having the high school teenager stop by and slap on a leash with their ipod in their ear. Being mindful of ‘what could go wrong’ while walking is a constant concern while their Paws are in your care! Respons-able is the distinction with a Joyful attitude each time, on every walk and really caring about the animals! Many of us would be happy to be with the Paws for Free if we could afford it! Being prepared to respond in an situation that comes up (pack of dogs, mail truck aggression, etc) isn’t the mindset of a teenager or friendly neighbor.

    Leaving the Paw Parent with peace of mind and happy Paws upon their return is always the goal of Professional Pet Sitting at Pawtails Petsitting here in San Diego.

    • Menlys Pet Care says:

      Thanks for the added input Kate! I did not include being members of professional pet sitting associations as a qualification for professionalism for 2 reasons: 1) this article is primarily for after you’ve found the sitter/company and have used them once or twice, how do you know you’ve found “the one”. Also, since association’s only requirements are that you pay their membership fees it doesn’t verify that the sitter is professional. Great points about the preparedness of a professional vs teenagers or neighbors!

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