How to Pick the Best Dog Sitter for Your Next Big Trip Out of Town

Leaving your furry family member behind when you travel can be stressful. But with the right dog sitter, your pup can enjoy a fun and safe staycation while you create lasting memories on your trip.

So, how do you find the perfect match for your precious pooch?

Peace of Mind on Paw Patrol: Choosing the Perfect Dog Sitter for Your Trip

Question: Is your dog “normal?”

My answer: Define “normal.”

What’s normal for your dog might not be normal for another dog, so make sure to let your potential dog sitter know how they usually behave so they know what to be on the lookout for while you’re gone.

Unleashing the Criteria: Doggy Do’s and Don’ts

  • Qualifications & Experience: Look for sitters with experience caring for dogs similar to yours in size, age, and energy level. Professional certifications or references from past clients are valuable indicators.
  • Service Options: Decide what type of care you need – in-home visits, dog walks, overnight stays, or boarding facilities. In-home care often provides a more familiar and comfortable environment, while boarding can offer structured socialization and playtime.
  • Meet & Greet: Schedule a meeting with potential sitters before your trip. Observe their interaction with your dog and assess their comfort level handling specific needs like medication or training.
  • Safety & Security: Ensure the sitter is familiar with your neighborhood and has a backup plan in case of emergencies. Ask about their insurance coverage and safety protocols.
  • Communication & Transparency: Choose a sitter who provides regular updates and photos of your dog during your absence. Clear communication builds trust and eases your worry.

Beyond the Checklist: Real Humans Need Apply

  • Gut Feeling: Trust your instincts! You’ll know when you find a sitter who genuinely cares about dogs and radiates a positive, responsible vibe.
  • Special Needs: If your dog has any special needs, dietary restrictions, or medical conditions, ensure the sitter has the knowledge and experience to manage them effectively.
  • Cost & Contracts: Discuss fees upfront and ensure everything is clearly outlined in a signed contract. This includes payment terms, cancellation policies, and emergency procedures.

Should You Use an App or Pro Service for Your At Home Dog Sitting and Care While You’re Gone?

Some people consider utilizing online platforms like Rover or, which offer verified sitters, reviews, and secure payment options. However, these apps can have major swings and varying degrees of safety and quality when it comes to individual sitters.

Additionally, sites like will often unfairly promote and feature the most attractive, youngest people on their site and back them up even during a dispute because they value future sales and marketing possibilities over one unhappy customer.

This, of course, really sucks if you’re that one unhappy customer.

Additionally, as I’ve written and made videos about, does not guarantee a safe dog sitting experience and will do everything legally possible to oppose you, even if you’re in the right. People’s dogs have perished because of negligent Rover sitters, often with little recourse for the dog’s owners from authorities or the justice system.

Some Rover sitters are just young college-aged kids with a house who keep your dog in a hot garage or boarded up. You show up from your getaway and the first thing your dog does is drink a bucket of water.

Remember: Choosing the right dog sitter is an investment in your peace of mind and your dog’s well-being. By carefully considering these factors and finding a sitter who aligns with your values and your dog’s needs, you can embark on your trip with confidence, knowing your furry friend is in loving and capable hands.

Happy Tails & Bon Voyage!

Paws for Applause: Share your dog sitter selection tips and stories in the comments below and help other pet parents create stress-free travel experiences for themselves and their beloved companions!

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