Dog Sitter: What You Should Look For Before Hiring!

June 03, 2019 4 min read 0 Comments

Golden retriever being walked by a dog sitter

As much as we love our dogs, it’s not always possible to take them everywhere. That’s where dog sitters come in. Many dog owners prefer not to leave their dogs home alone for a variety of reasons. Thanks to the internet, finding a suitable dog sitter is easier than ever. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know when choosing a dog sitter, from how to find one to how to organize your first sitting.

What are dog sitters?

A dog sitter, or pet sitter, is someone who stays in your home with your precious pooch while you’re out. This could be for just one evening while you dine out with friends, or it could be for a longer period, such as while you’re on vacation.

Not only will a dog sitter spend time with your pet, but they’ll also make sure your dog’s routines are kept to a tee. From feeds to walks, cuddles to cleaning, they’ll keep things ticking over just as you would for your dog. A dog sitter could be a family member or friend who is already familiar to your pet. Equally, you can hire a dog sitter online and arrange for your pup to get to know them before they’re left alone.

Why do you need a dog sitter?

Beagle being walked in the grass

Every dog is different. Some pups are quite content to be home alone for a few hours for a bit, while others experience separation anxiety and can even present destructive behavior when home alone. You’ll know what your dog can handle. A dog sitter is a great option if you’re not keen on leaving your dog alone or if you’re leaving the house outside of your usual routine.

Dogs love routine. They feel safe knowing they’ll be fed, watered and walked at the same times every day. This doesn’t mean you can’t do something outside of your routine. Hiring a dog sitter will help your dog get the much-needed attention they crave while you’re out and about.

There are many reasons why you might need a dog sitter, for example:

If they have anxiety

Dogs express their anxiety in all sorts of ways. Some pups can be destructive in the home, while others may counter surf or sneak into places they’re not allowed. Anxiety in dogs is more than just nerves, it’s an ongoing reaction to change. The tiniest of things can set them off, from the sound of your keys to seeing you put on your shoes. Having a dog sitter means your dog is getting the security they crave while you leave the house to run necessary errands or have an evening out.

Anxiety in dogs can depend on their past, such as if they have been rescued from a neglectful home. In addition, some dog breeds are more sensitive and therefore susceptible to anxiety, such as Greyhounds, Vizslas, Spaniels, Terriers, and Toy Poodles.





Some breeds of dogs have more energy than others. If you have a high energy pup, such as a Border Collie, Spaniel, Labrador, German Shepherd, Beagle or Poodle, you’ll know the importance of a good exercise regime.

A dog sitter will make sure your pooch is suitably exercised in a place familiar to them. This way they’ll be more relaxed while you’re away.

Trouble sleeping

Many owners fall into routines with their dogs that are hard to break. Your dog may feel on edge when you’re not around, particularly overnight. As a result, they may struggle to sleep and resort to anxious or destructive behaviors. Having a dog sitter stay at your home overnight means your dog isn’t taken out of their familiar environment but always has company.

Inform your dog sitter of your dog’s night time routine so they can follow it closely, this will help your canine companion settle even if you’re away a few nights.



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Toilet problems

This point is particularly true for older dogs. Your pup may have a weak bladder or bowel and require several toilet trips per day. A dog sitter will let your dog out whenever they require, minimizing the chances of accidents indoors while you’re away.

What makes a good dog sitter?

Golden retriever playing in the dog park

A good dog sitter should have a bond with your dog. They are someone who feels comfortable in all circumstances. They must be a confident authority figure, while also caring and loving when your dog needs a little TLC.

If you don’t have a friend or family member to dog sit, you can find a suitable professional online. Use Google and Facebook to browse dog sitters and always read reviews. It helps to have a dog sitter that’s experienced with your dog breed and any issues your pup may have. This way, you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that they’ll be prepared for anything.

Let your dog sitter meet your dog a few times ahead of you going away. You can even let your dog sitter give your dog some treats or prepare their meal, this way your dog will start to associate them with food and security. Once you’re confident you’ve found the right sitter, try them out for a few hours at a time before going away overnight. It’s OK if you don’t find the right sitter first time around, there are plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re particularly concerned, you can use a baby monitor to record what’s happening while you’re away. Make sure your dog sitter knows they’re being filmed, as you don’t want to get into any legal issues!

Finally, make sure your neighbors are aware you’re away. They’ll keep an eye on your dog sitter and can report any concerns to you directly.

We can’t take our dogs everywhere we go, as much as we’d love to! So, hiring a dog sitter is an excellent way to give you the freedom you need while feeling safe in the knowledge that your best friend is well taken care of in their own home.

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Dog Sitter: What You Should Look For Before Hiring! By Ellen Forster

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