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Find a Pet Sitter Near You

How to Find a Good Pet Sitter Near Me?

With over 60 million American households owning at least one pet, the demand for qualified individuals that can provide pet care-related services is on the rise. This includes pet sitters, who offer a wide variety of services such as bathing and feeding your pets, providing exercise and playtime, administering medications when necessary, and generally ensuring that your pets are properly taken care of in your absence. It is estimated that the amount of money American pet owners spent on pet care services doubled to a total of about $5.8 billion over the decade ending in 2017.

Given the high demand for pet care services, the amount of money spent on these services, and the fact the quality of these services directly affects your pet's wellbeing, it is important to always hire competent and experienced professionals to take care of your pets. Therefore, before you hire a pet sitter near you, you need to make sure that this individual is qualified to properly take care of your pet by asking the following questions:

  1. Are You Licensed, Registered, or Certified?

    Pet sitters do not need a state-issued license to provide their services. As such, there is always a high risk of hiring an unqualified pet sitter near you to take care of your pet. To avoid making the mistake of hiring the wrong individual, you must ensure that the pet sitter you intend to hire has other work-related credentials you can verify. One way to do this is by asking for certifications. Certification means that the pet sitter has acquired relevant knowledge and skills for providing pet sitting services, and it is always in your best interest to hire a certified pet sitter. Some common and reputable professional associations that certify pet sitters include the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International.

    In addition to certification, it is also vital that pet sitters are trained in Pet CPR and first aid. Pet sitters may take lessons in Pet CPR and first aid from reputable health organizations like the American Red Cross Society. Hiring a pet sitter that knows what to do during an emergency is very important. You should always ask the pet sitter that you intend to hire if they are trained to provide pet CPR and first aid. You should also ask the pet sitter to provide proof and verify the information from the organization that provided the training.

    Finally, pet sitters that operate a pet sitting facility must meet the business registration and tax requirements in their locality. It is always a good idea to use a pet sitting facility that is licensed in compliance with the requirements in your area of residence. You should contact your local consumer protection office to find out what is obtainable in your locality.

  2. How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Pet Sitter?

    The cost of hiring a pet sitter ranges from $10 - $150 per visit. This is usually determined by factors like:

    • The type of pet
    • The time of visit (night or day)
    • The number of hours involved
    • The specific type of service required
    • The number of pets and their respective age
    • Whether the pet will engage in exercises
    • Whether the pet requires grooming of any sort
    • Whether the pet needs any medical care

    Before you finally hire a pet sitter near you, you should have a clear idea about all of the aforementioned factors. Always ask the pet sitter you intend to hire to explain how any of these factors may affect the total cost of pet sitting. Also, when considering hiring a pet sitter, there are specific steps you can take to ensure that you do not exceed your budget for it. These include:

    • Research pet-sitting prices in your area: Before hiring a pet sitter, you should research the cost of pet sitting in your locality. You can ask neighbors, friends, and family members how much they pay for pet sitting services. You may also visit pet sitting facilities to find out what it will cost to hire a pet sitter from the facility. This gives you a clear idea of what to expect from the pet sitter you want to hire and provides you with adequate information to negotiate prices with the pet sitter.
    • Consider paying for pet sitting in bulk: Many pet sitters give discounts to customers that pay for petting services in bulk. This usually means paying for the total number of pet sitting visits that you will need in a week or month at once instead of per visit. Before hiring a pet sitter, you should ask if they provide discounts for bulk payments and take advantage of these discounts to save costs.
    • Make a pet care agreement: If you have neighbors that own a pet, you can make an arrangement that will require you to look after your neighbor's pets when they are not around so that they will also look after your pet when you are not around. Although this is not as reliable as hiring a pet sitter, it allows your pet to get some care and attention in your absence for free. Doing this also reduces the number of days you have to pay a professional pet sitter.

What Are Common Pet Sitter Expenses?

Excluding the rates that pet sitters charge for taking care of pets, pet owners may incur additional expenses when hiring the services of these pet sitters. Some of these expenses include:

  • Transportation expenses: Pet sitting often requires the pet sitter to visit the pet owner's house to look after their pet. In some cases, you may be required to reimburse the pet sitter the cost of getting gas or paying a bus fare to get to your location.
  • Veterinary expenses: Pet sitters are sometimes required to take pets to veterinary clinics when their owners are away. This additional cost typically includes transportation expenses, veterinary fees, and compensation for the time spent in the veterinary clinic.

Note that it is always a good idea to ask the pet sitter that you intend to hire whether you may incur any other additional expenses based on the specific type of service that you need. Find out how you will be billed for these expenses and come up with a payment structure that is favorable to you and the pet sitter.

Who Will Do the Work?

Pets are part of our families, and they also need regular, life-long care to stay healthy. As such, it is necessary to leave your pet in the hands of an experienced, qualified, and competent individual when you are away. To achieve this, you should always ask who will do the job when you hire a pet sitter. You can ask the pet sitter that will be taking care of your pet if they are certified. Request proof of certification and verify the information by contacting the organization that issued the certificate. Also, you should ask the pet sitter if they were trained to provide pet CPR and first aid. Knowing that your pet sitter can handle any health-related emergency in your absence is very important. Finally, since the pet sitter will be taking care of your pet in your home, it is vital to carry out adequate background checks on the pet sitter you intend to hire.

What Qualifications Should a Pet Sitter Have?

Pet sitters typically have a minimum educational qualification of a high school degree or its equivalent. Besides a high school degree, pet sitters need to obtain adequate knowledge and experience about the profession. This is usually acquired through on-the-job training in a pet sitting facility. In addition to this, pet sitters may voluntarily enroll in several certification programs such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Certification Program and Pet Sitters International Certification Program. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 350, 900 animal care and service workers in the country. These include professional pet sitters that are practicing in any of the 50 states in the country.

Will You Provide References?

Since there is always a possibility that your pet sitter will have access to your home when you are away, you must ensure that you are hiring the right person for the job. To achieve this, you must always ask the pet sitter you intend to hire to provide a list of references that you can contact. Contact the individuals named on this reference list and ask important questions like whether the pet sitter can be trusted with your property and if they are competent in what they do. Asking these questions reduces your chances of falling into the hands of unscrupulous individuals posing as pet sitters.

You can also avoid unscrupulous individuals by hiring a pet sitter that belongs to a professional association. For instance, associations like Pet Sitters International allow interested members of the public to search for registered pet sitters in their locality. You can also find competent and trustworthy pet sitters on third-party review websites like Better Business Bureau and Yelp.

Quick Facts about Pet Sitters

2020 Median Pay
$26,370 per year, $12.68 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None
On-the-job Training
Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2019
350,900
Job Outlook, 2019-29
22% (Higher than average )
Employment Change, 2019-29
75, 500

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Expert Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Sitters

What Do I Need to Know Before Pet Sitting?

Before taking a pet sitting job, it is always important to have a clear idea about the following topics:

  • Emergency care: You should have basic knowledge of pet CPR and first aid. In addition to this, you should find out how far the nearest emergency veterinary hospital is from the client's house. You should also ask the client what they are willing to spend on emergency care before taking the job. This gives you a clear idea of how you should negotiate with a veterinary doctor in case of any emergency.
  • Health needs: Before you take any pet sitting job, you should ask if the pet has any underlying health condition. You should also ask the pet owner the steps they are taking to control the condition. If the pet is taking medications, you must find out whether there are enough supplies to take care of the pet in the pet owner's absence.
  • Social life: Always ask your potential client certain questions about their pet's social life. This includes whether the pet is taken for walks regularly, if the pet is used to being alone, and how or when the pet likes to play. Understanding the pet's social life helps you adjust to their preference accordingly.
  • Pet foods: Most pets are placed on special diets for several reasons ranging from weight management and cell maintenance to increasing their strength and vitality and improving their overall health. You have to find out the type of food the pet will eat, why the pet is eating that particular food, and what quantity of the food is required per meal.
  • Exercise: Before you take a pet sitting job, you should ask whether the pet will engage in any exercises. You should also find out the type of exercise the pet is used to and the number of times they are expected to exercise during your visit.

How Long Should You Stay When Pet Sitting?

Pet sitting may last 15 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the type of service provided. For instance, live-in services last 24 hours or more, while overnight care lasts five to eight hours. In contrast, short visits may last anywhere between 15 minutes to three hours. It is always a good idea to discuss the length of pet sitting visits with a potential client before accepting the job.

Is Pet Sitting Dangerous?

Pet sitting is dangerous when you consider the physical risks involved in handling a pet. Pet sitters can sustain several injuries while doing their job. These include:

  • Injuries from animal bites and scratches: Pet bites and scratches may cause severe pain and noticeable scars on your skin. Besides the physical pain and scars, you may also get infected through pet bites and scratches. Pet bites typically occur when a client's pet becomes very aggressive over food or toys. Some pets may also become very aggressive when they are meeting the pet sitter for the first time. You should always see a doctor after a pet bite or scratch.
  • Torn or pulled ligament: Due to the level of physical activity and quick movement required to keep up with pets, pet sitters are always at risk of pulling a ligament. In many cases, pet sitters may sustain injuries in their ankles and wrists.
  • Broken bones: In addition to pulling a ligament, pet sitters may also sustain a broken bone in any part of their body, usually as a result of falls, slips, and trips that can occur from situations like stumbling over a tangled leash. In some situations, injured pet sitters may need to hire a physical therapist to recover from some of these injuries.

How Many times a Day Should My Pet Sitter Visit During a Vacation?

The number of daily visits your pet sitter has to make usually depends on the type of pet involved. For instance, indoor-only dogs require a minimum of three visits per day. This usually covers morning, afternoon, and evening care. In contrast, cats typically require one to two visits per day. It is always a good idea to allow the pet sitter to access the situation to determine what is best for your pet.

Can a Pet Sitter Stay at My Home All Day or Overnight?

Yes, a pet sitter can stay at your home all day or overnight. This is usually dependent on the type of service you need. Many pet sitters offer both live-in and overnight care. However, overnight services are more common than live-in services because many pet sitters work in pet sitting facilities during the day. In addition to this, many pet sitters also offer pet sitting services to other clients during the day.