Pet Sitting Service FAQs

  • Introduction

    Hiring a pet sitter when you’re planning a trip can help relieve the stress of leaving your pet behind. When you’re confident you have a qualified, responsible pet sitter, you can feel good knowing your pet is safe. Additionally, if there’s an emergency that requires veterinary care while you’re away, your pet will have access to timely help.

  • How much do pet sitters cost?

    The average cost for a pet sitter who visits your home to feed and check on your pet is $15 per hour. A sitter for a puppy or dog that requires extra care usually costs more. However, overnight care may have a lower hourly rate, and sitters may offer package deals for full weeks.

  • How do pet sitters charge for service?

    Pet sitters may charge in several ways, including by the half hour, by the full hour, daily, or with overnight or full week rates. Pet sitters who offer additional services, such as dog walking, grooming, or administering medications to your pet, may charge extra for those services.

  • Do pet sitters need insurance?

    Although it's not legally required, pet sitters may want insurance to cover the cost of accidental damage to a client’s home. Pet sitters also should have coverage in case anything goes wrong when caring for a pet, such as it getting lost or injured. Additionally, if a pet sitter gets injured on the job, insurance could cover their medical care costs.

  • Do pet sitters come to your house or do they pick your pet up?

    Pet sitters typically come to your house to care for your pet. You may be able to arrange for a pet sitter to pick up your pet. Alternately, you may opt to take your pet to stay with a sitter in a boarding situation.

  • Do pet sitters stay overnight?

    Some pet sitters will agree to stay overnight with your pet, although not all offer this service. This can be especially helpful for pets that get stressed when left alone for long periods. Having the pet sitter stay overnight ensures your pet’s needs can be met at all times.

  • How do you tip pet sitters?

    Tipping is optional with most pet sitters, but it's appreciated. A tip says thank you to your sitter for taking care of your pet and helps ensure good future care. Providing a tip that's 15% the total bill is standard, and it shows your sitter that you value the service they provided.

  • Can you deduct pet sitters on a tax return?

    No. Even if you have to hire a pet sitter so you can travel for work, you can’t deduct the expense on your tax return. Anything related to pet care is considered a personal expense by the IRS, so it’s not deductible.

  • Are pet sitters equipped to administer medication/injections to pets?

    Some pet sitters are equipped to administer medications or injections to pets. It’s important to ask a potential sitter whether they provide such services, and get everything in writing before agreeing to let them watch your pet. Some sitters may charge extra if required to administer medications.

  • Is it safe to hire a pet sitter?

    It's generally safe to hire a pet sitter, but you need to research potential sitters before leaving your pet in their care. Ask for referrals and check reviews online. It’s also reasonable to run a thorough background check on a pet sitter who'll be in your home and caring for your pet.

  • How do you prepare for a pet sitter?

    Let your pet get to know the sitter before you leave, and prepare your home ahead of time. Make sure you leave plenty of your pet’s food and any necessary medications in an easily accessible location. Leave detailed notes about your pet’s routine, care needs, feeding schedule, and anything else the sitter may need to know.

  • What do you do with a dog while pet sitting?

    Things pet sitters normally do while caring for a pet include providing food and water, taking them for walks if necessary, and keeping them company. This may include petting and playing games with the pet. A sitter may also have to clean up accidental messes or administer medications while tending to a pet.

  • What should you tell your pet sitter about your pet?

    Your pet sitter needs to know all the basics of caring for your pet, such as how much food to offer and details of their usual routine, as well as how to reach you in an emergency. You should also tell your sitter about things your pet enjoys and any personality quirks that could make providing care more challenging.

  • Should you write a contract when hiring a pet sitter, and if so- what should be in it?

    Your pet sitter should provide you with a contract. If the sitter doesn’t, you should write a contract for the sitter to sign. It should include details of the care the sitter agrees to provide for your pet.

  • What items should a professional pet sitter have on hand?

    A professional pet sitter should have a pet first aid kit on hand as well as comfort items, such as blankets and toys. Professional pet sitters should also have treats to offer pets, as long as owners have approved the treats, as well as an extra leash and carrier for emergencies.

  • What questions should you ask your pet sitter before you hire them?

    Before you make a hiring decision, ask any pet sitters you're considering if they have experience caring for your type of pet and for references you can contact. You should also ask each pet sitter whether they have insurance and if they provide a contract.

  • How far in advance of your vacation should you start looking for a pet sitter?

    It's best to start looking for a pet sitter as soon as you decide you’re going on vacation, but allow yourself three weeks at a minimum. You might also have the sitter you’re considering watch your pet for a short trial run before leaving for a longer vacation.

  • Should your pet meet your pet sitter before your trip?

    Your pet should definitely meet your pet sitter before your trip. Meeting the sitter ahead of time may help reduce the nervousness your pet feels when you leave, compared to being left with a  total stranger. It can also keep your pet from aggressively protecting your home from the sitter.

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