Travel and Finding the Right Caregiver For Your Pet

Rover, Rover…send your best pet sitter over!

You have travel plans and you’re wondering who will take care of my pet? Owning a dog should not limit your travel opportunities. And we know that many pet owners hate to leave their beloved family members behind. Entrusting your dog to the care of a stranger is always a challenge–you want what’s best for your dog, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

That’s where Rover.com comes in. The site is filled with wonderful, pet-loving sitters and dog-walkers who are thoroughly vetted by the site. There’s no shortage of affordable, high-quality care in your area! Here’s how to ensure a perfect fit, and create the best possible experience for your pet.

 Define Your Needs

What helps your pets thrive? Think back to past experiences with strangers, or times that you’ve been away. Is your dog happiest in her own home? Nervous with new people? Does she get along with other pups? What unique care requirements does your pet have? If you have any concerns that you hope a sitter would address, write them down.

This “dream list” could include experience caring for senior dogs, or a sitter who’s highly active in order to keep up with your energetic puppy. What are your non-negotiables? Know where you might be willing to compromise, and what areas are paramount to your pet’s happiness.

Let’s get practical…how do you know who’s right for your pet?

Search Rover’s Site

If you’re looking for a sitter for specific dates, you can narrow your search with those parameters. Otherwise, browse as many local sitters or dog-walkers as you can to cast a wide net. Which sitters already have reviews from other owners? Start reading through profiles to get to know your options.

Now, compare what you find with your list. Contact sitters who look promising, and ask questions if you need more detail. The important thing is finding someone who’s adaptable, motivated, reliable, attentive to your pets, and conscientious about instructions.

Let’s get acquainted.

Do a Meet & Greet

Found a sitter who’s interested? Great! Set up an initial meeting. You’ll get a sense of who they are, and you can watch them interact with your pet. It’s a bit like a first date: You’ll discover whether there’s chemistry! Does their personality match up with your pet’s needs? Ask any questions that will help you make the final decision. You can also go for a walk together, or watch the sitter play with your pets. Look for a connection that helps put your pet at ease, as well as confidence and great communication skills.

Not sure about this one? Meet another candidate. Whoever you choose to hire, you want to trust them completely and feel comfortable leaving your pet in their care. You might even tweak your list based on a meeting that didn’t go as you hoped. There are plenty of caregivers available, and you want to feel great about your choice. Once you find the right person, you’ll be able to hire them often–and get a better sense of what makes a great sitter, should you ever embark on the search again. Your perfect sitter is out there!

Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.