Tips for Hiring the Right Pet Sitter

Written by Nat Smith, community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.


Tips for Hiring the Right Pet-Sitter & Dog-Walker


In an ideal world, you’d spend 24/7 with your dog: long walks throughout the day, cuddles every night, and endless adventures. Unfortunately, sometimes this thing called “life” gets in the way of all that quality one-on-one time. Rather than letting your pup suffer the consequences of this separation–which can range from boredom, to inadequate exercise, separation anxiety, or worse–why not enlist help?


There’s a treasure trove of experienced, professional pet caregivers on, just waiting to step in and help you out of a crunch. They’ll make sure your pup is fed and watered, take them on walks, and provide all the playtime your pet needs for a healthy outlet. Don’t let your dog’s energy get so pent-up that it wears you out at the end of each day: Professional assistance empowers both of you to be your best.


Finding a Pet-Sitter


For overnight care, you’ll need someone who can mesh with your pet’s daily rhythms. Can they provide all the exercise and playtime your pet needs? Will they be around during the day, or do they work 9-5? Get clear about what your pet needs, particularly if there are medical concerns or limitations that necessitate a specific type of experience.


When it comes to personality, look for a sitter who your pup can relax with and enjoy plenty of active play. It’s important that they communicate well with you–and even more important that they can tune in and understand your dog’s body language loud and clear. Ideally, your match will have an open, flexible schedule so they can help you out whenever you need to leave town–dogs thrive on consistency and routine, and it gives them something to look forward to when they see you’re packing your suitcase again.


Finding a Dog-Walker


Reliability and efficiency are especially important when you’re looking for a daily dog-walker. Showing up at the same time, taking your dog on a designated route, and double-checking all your pup’s needs are met will help your pet get the most out of the experience. Look for a dog-walker who can devote sufficient time to your pet and won’t be trying to walk six other dogs at the same time–one-on-one attention is key.


At the meet and greet, be sure to observe the walker with your pup. Do they give clear, simple commands? Are they able to enforce the same walk training that you use–replete with treats, if you’re working on any specific skills? Grabbing a leash and fumbling around the block could actually undo the training work you’ve put in with your pup, so a responsible and experienced dog-walker is a must.


Some cities have a Quick-Match walking service available, where the walker is assigned to you. These walkers have met Rover staff in person and have gone through training to become the best walker for your dog. If you’re in a participating city, check it out!


Your Turn!

Once you’ve joined the Rover fold, you may realize that you’ve found your calling–and sign up yourself to become a pet-sitter and dog-walker. It can be a great way to meet people and pups, earn money–and help your dog connect with playmates, too.


Follow Kimberly Storms (LittleCrunchy) on Google+!


  1. I’ve heard about this service and heard good things. Wish I could find one like this for cats.

  2. rhonda miotke says:

    Thanks for the tips on finding a pet sitter, I am very attached to my pup and him to me, so leaving him for any reason is very hard.To find someone that I trust to care for him is hard.

  3. Great tips! I think if we ever go anywhere in the near future we may consider pet sitting. Our dog is a senior and recently went totally blind. We used to have my brother in law stay and watch him, but he isnt available all the time.

  4. I’ve never hired a pet sitter before. Someone in my family usually watches our dog. These are great tips if I ever needed the service.