How to Avoid Bad Pet Sitters – 14 Questions Pet Owners Should Ask Before Confirming a House Sit

Finding the perfect pet sitter can be a daunting task, but ensuring your furry friends are in good hands is crucial. Here are 14 essential questions to ask potential pet sitters!

How to Avoid House Sitting Nightmares – 10 Questions to Ask Before Confirming a House Sit

Finding the perfect pet sitter can be a daunting task, but ensuring your furry friends are in good hands is crucial. Choosing a reliable and responsible pet sitter guarantees your pets' well-being and gives you peace of mind during your travels.


No matter what platform you use for finding a pet sitter, personally I highly recommend Trusted Housesitters! Although the website cost a yearly membership, engaging a pet sitter will always be free! Yes that's right, you only pay a yearly fee and you get unlimited free pet sitters! Trust me, it's so worth it, you'll save a ton of money you would otherwise spend on pet hotels, kennels or local pet sitters.


If you use my link you get an additional 25% off on your annual membership! Just click here and sign up with Trusted Housesitters today and you'll get access to thousands of pet sitters! Once done, you can list your home with your travel dates and potential sitters will apply. The more popular your area is, the more applications you get, so it can be sometimes overwhelming to choose the right sitter. Aside from checking their profiles and previous reviews, I recommend to hop on a phone or video call before making a final decision.


By thoroughly vetting your potential pet sitter, you ensure that your pets receive the best care possible in your absence, allowing you to travel with peace of mind. Here are 14 essential questions to ask potential pet sitters before confirming the housesit:



1. Why do you want to pet sit for us/me?

Understanding the pet sitter's motivation can provide valuable insight into their commitment and enthusiasm for the sit. Are they passionate about animals? Are they looking for a temporary place to stay? Their answer can reveal their true intentions and help you gauge if they're the right fit for your pets.



How to Avoid House Sitting Nightmares – 10 Questions to Ask Before Confirming a House Sit

2. Are you 100% available for the requested period?

Ensure that the pet sitter is fully available for the entire period you need them. Any overlaps or prior commitments can lead to last-minute cancellations, which can be highly inconvenient.



3. What's your prior pet sitting experience?

Experience is crucial when it comes to pet sitting. Ask about their previous pet-sitting jobs, the types of pets they've cared for, and how they handled various situations. This will give you a better idea of their capability to take care of your pets.



4. Can I see or read previous reviews from other pet owners?

Reviews and references are invaluable. Positive feedback from previous pet owners can provide reassurance about the sitter's reliability and performance. If they lack reviews, you might ask, "Can I contact people you have sat for before?" Direct communication with past clients can provide deeper insights.



5. Have you ever cancelled a confirmed pet sit, and if yes, why?

Understanding the reasons behind any previous cancellations can help you assess the sitter's reliability. Frequent cancellations might indicate a lack of commitment or organization.



How to Avoid House Sitting Nightmares – 10 Questions to Ask Before Confirming a House Sit

6. Where are you from?

Knowing the sitter's background can help you understand them better. It might also be relevant for legal or logistical reasons, especially if international travel is involved.



7. Do you need a visa to enter my country, and if yes, how easy/difficult is that?

If your potential sitter is from another country, ensure they can legally enter and stay in your country for the required period. Visa issues can lead to last-minute complications.



8. Have you been to "my city/country" before?

Familiarity with your city or country can be an added advantage. It ensures they won't face difficulties navigating or understanding local customs and amenities, which can make the pet-sitting experience smoother.



9. Are you capable of handling the responsibilities towards my pet?

Clearly outline your pet's needs and habits (the good and the bad), including feeding schedules, exercise routines, medication, and any quirks they may have. Ask if the sitter is comfortable and capable of managing all these responsibilities.



How to Avoid House Sitting Nightmares – 10 Questions to Ask Before Confirming a House Sit

10. What's your daily routine? What do you do for a living?

Understanding their daily routine can help you assess if they can provide the necessary attention and care for your pet. If they have a full-time job or other commitments, it might impact the time they can dedicate to your pet.



11. Do you smoke?

This question is important, especially if your household is non-smoking or if your pets have respiratory sensitivities. Please make sure to choose a pet sitter who is capable to maintain a healthy environment for your pets.



12. Would you be OK to send pics or videos of my pet once a day / 3x a week?

Regular updates can provide peace of mind. A responsible pet sitter should be willing to send consistently photos or videos of your pet to keep you informed about their well-being.



13. Do you have friends in town? Are you planning to invite friends over?

It's important to know if the sitter plans to have visitors. While socializing is not necessarily a problem, you need to ensure that your home remains secure and that your pet's routine isn't disrupted.


If inviting friends over is an issue to you, please communicate that with your pet sitter. Most pet owners are rather relaxed about this, hence if you don't feel that way, please set your boundaries early on.



14. When can you confirm if you're available to commit to this pet sit?

Getting a clear commitment timeline helps you plan better, so you also know when to follow up with your sitter regards a decision to commit to you. Ensure the sitter can confirm their availability well in advance, allowing you to make alternative arrangements if needed.




Choosing a pet sitter is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By asking these 14 questions, you can better understand the sitter's reliability, experience, and compatibility with your pet's needs. Always prioritize your pet's well-being and comfort, and don't hesitate to conduct multiple interviews until you find the perfect fit. 


If you think I may have forgotten some important questions, please leave them in the comment section below, so I can add them to this blog post, keeping this guide valuable. Happy pet sitting!



About the Author:

Sabrina Iovino started in 2012. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to 70+ countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Let's restart:

Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly. 

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram | PinterestYouTube | Twitter