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10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

Posted by Katya on November 20th, 2012

We want to thank Whiskers And Leo for sending over this great write-up so that we could share it with you! Thinking of going away this holiday season? Work long hours and need a dog walker or pet sitter? On top of providing high quality, in-home pet care services on the East Coast, Whiskers And Leo are also big fans of pet adoption! They are professionals of their trade and shared with us this list of 10 questions to ask before hiring a dog walker or pet sitter. We hope you enjoy and that this helps you find a great best friend for your best friend!

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

1. Do they have liability insurance and bonding, and how much coverage? Accidents can happen, so you want to make sure they are professionals and have proper coverage.

2. Are their pet sitters actual employees or independent contractors? This is important for liability reasons! If a company hires actual employees then you know they are a company that is going to be around for a while. In addition, you’ll know they are a legitimate company and that they value their sitters.

3. Is there a background check on all sitters? Whether you’re considering an independent pet sitter or working with a company, make sure a background check has been run on anyone who will be working with you.  Some pet sitters/dog walkers may seem great when you meet them and say all the right things, but you are trusting them with your pets and access to your home so please be extra cautious!

4. Are they members of any professional pet sitting organizations? For example Pet Sitters International is a good association to be aligned with!

5. How do dog walkers/sitters keep track of their schedules? You want to make sure that their time is well organized for your pets.

6. Will they give you the same walker/sitter each day, or each time you call? If not, how does the interview process work with each sitter that will come into your home?

7. What methods of payment do they accept? This can help you gage if they are a full service company.

8. For dog walking, how many dogs do they walk at once? In addition, are there certain types of collars/harnesses/leashes that they use or do not like to use? Many pet sitters/dog walkers will not use certain types of collars and leashes for safety reasons and they limit the number of dogs they will walk at one time. This assures the safety and well-being of the animals they are responsible for!

9. What are the company’s mission, values and ethics? Check the company’s website and marketing literature. What is their reputation in the community? You can ask around at vets, groomers, pet stores, pet rescues, etc. to see if they know anything about that company. It’s also important to note if they work with or donate to local shelters and animals rescues!  A dog walking/sitting company that is also compassionate and involved in helping animals is a good sign. Lastly, you can learn more by Googling to see if you can find any reviews. Be wary of a company that doesn’t have an online presence!

10. Last but not least, ask for at least two references from current clients that use their services! It is very important to know if they have happy clients so don’t be shy to ask for references!

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