There are many things to think about when you are looking for the right sitter for your precious pet. Let’s take a look at some things you need to find out from your potential pet sitter. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. It is better to select a professional pet sitting service, rather than just asking a neighbor to do it for you.

It is recommended that you invite the pet sitter into your home to meet with you and your pet. Find out ahead of time if they will charge you for doing this. You need to see how this person acts together with your pets. It is better to discuss in person the details of their services and business practices. This will also allow you to make sure they have a positive attitude and that they seem comfortable around your pets and in your home.

Pet Sitters International offers some aspects for you to consider. Find out if the agency keeps regular office hours to make sure that they are legit. They should have a regularly scheduled set of hours in which they run their business. If you call them and leave a message, they should responsibly return your call within 24 hours.

Find out how much of a notice they need before placing your pet on their schedule. Most will require a couple of weeks’ notice ahead of time. Be aware that they might charge you extra if you don’t allow this 2 weeks’ time.

A professional pet sitter should have a list of fees that is published, which goes over different pet care needs you may have. If they do not have this, they still should be able to quote you their fees upfront over the telephone. Find out how much time the pet sitter will be spending in your home. The average time is about 30 minutes.

Ask for proof that the pet sitter has proof that they are bonded and insured. You need to find out if your pet sitter has any type of criminal history. How can you do this discreetly? You need to go ahead and ask them for a list of references that can verify they have a history of being honest and reliable. You may choose to take this a step further and get an official criminal background check if you are more comfortable with that. Remember that this person will have access to your home as well as your pets.

Some pet sitters have taken care of more cats than dogs, or vice versa. Find out how much experience the potential pet sitter has in caring for your particular type of animal.

Ask them if they will be signing a contract that outlines the services they will provide along with their fees. This is recommended by Pet Sitters International. Along with what they will be charging you, it should say how much time they will spend with your pets. Find out how this time will be divided up when they are at your home. For example, how long will they be playing and exercising with your dog?

Find out what their backup plan will be if they are unable to come to your home. Do they have a replacement available in their absence and how has this person been trained? Perhaps the company has a website that you can look at to feel more comfortable with their business practices. Some will have a written contingency plan that says who will provide care for your animal if they are unable to.

What type of arrangements do they have if your pet should need medical care? Be sure to give them contact information for both your veterinarian and local emergency vet clinic, just in case it is needed while you are away. After you come home, will the pet sitter call you to make sure you have made it, or will you need to contact them?

Inquire regarding their payment terms. Many will require you to pay a deposit up front and pay the balance at the end of their service. And there you have it. Asking enough questions will help make sure their company is the right fit for you and your pet.