When you need someone to care for your dog, choosing the right sitter doesn’t come easily. It is important to spend time looking at potential sitters so you can be confident your dog is in safe and trusted hands. Here’s a list of questions that will help you choose the best dog sitter.
1. Can they provide references and reviews?
It is important to ask your potential dog sitter for references and reviews from other customers. Find out whether any of those reviewers have similar dogs to yours, this allows you to gain a clear understanding of how they would care for your breed.
Look for reassurances about service and dogs coming home happy to make sure your four-legged friend will have a positive experience. For example, at Barking Mad we have thousands of 5-star reviews on TrustPilot, and we can provide case studies / success stories from previous satisfied customers.
2. Are they insured?
Whilst not all sitters will be insured, it is an important question to ask for peace of mind. Quality well run businesses will have this covered.
Barking Mad offers a professional service and is fully insured. We recommend all customers also have pet insurance for their dogs.
3. Will they meet your dog first?
When you’re going away and looking to choose the right care for your dog, it is important for the dog sitter to meet your dog in advance and get to know them so everyone is comfortable when it’s time for their stay. Ensure that your dog is happy, and settled before and during their stay as well as when they get back home. At Barking Mad, we provide an initial short stay service in preparation for longer holidays of seven days or more, so your dog and carer get used to each other. Read more about how our dog sitting works here.
4. What experience do they have?
Choosing a dog sitter who is caring and passionate for pets is of the utmost of importance. But it is also useful to follow up with more specific questions about their experience with dogs.
Ask how long they have been providing their dog sitting service, how often they have dogs, whether they have ever owned a dog of their own. The best dog sitters are people who are absolutely dotty about dogs!
Barking Mad guarantees your dog will be happy on holiday and will never place them with an inappropriate host. We know our portfolio of dog loving hosts really well and pride ourselves in providing the best so you don’t have any guess work.
5. What responsibilities will they carry out for the price of the service?
Outlining what you want from a sitter can be useful so expectations can be met either side. It’s important to know if your dog will be walked regularly and if the sitter will be able to administer medication or maintain the dog’s usual diet. In addition, whilst many sitters will have a base fee, there may be additional fees for additional services so check what you’re paying for.
Barking Mad removes any guess work from your experience and takes control from the start so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to ask about anything in particular. Our fees are clear with no hidden charges.
6. What do they do in the event of an emergency?
Unexpected circumstances can occur such as your pet becoming sick whilst you’re away, so it’s important to ask what plans or systems the dog sitter has in place for this. For example, here at Barking Mad we are on call 24 hours a day as quality dog sitters which is all part of our customer guarantee. We are on hand to help with any situation and there’s no situation we haven’t dealt with before.
Ask your sitter if they have experienced medical emergencies in the past, getting them to explain some scenarios and how they dealt with them.
7. Will they send you updates?
Leaving your dog behind while you’re away can be an emotional experience for owners, so asking if your dog sitter will send pictures and updates is a good way to alleviate any anxiety you may have. They should also provide contact details if you need anything.
All Barking Mad dog sitters send photo updates and texts to the dog owners during the stay – it’s an essential part of our service! Afterwards, a postcard is provided too, so you can read all about the fun your pet has had.
8. Will your dog be around other pets?
Depending on the way your dog behaves and interacts, you may want to ask the sitter if the dog will be around any other pets and ask how many other dog they sit for. If your dog is sociable, you might want a sitter who has their own dog. If your dog prefers to be on their own, you’ll want to know that the sitter will have time to dedicate to your furry friend.
Any good dog sitting service will offer you the choice of a host family with or without other dogs to stay.
9. What do they need from you?
During your initial consultation the sitter should be asking you a lot of questions too. They should be trying to gain a good understanding of your dog, asking you about their behaviours, likes, dislikes and medical conditions including allergies.
The dog sitter should also tell you what items you will need to prepare, such as food, toys, bowls and blankets. This will give you time to get everything ready for your dog’s stay.
Barking Mad dog sitting
If you are looking for an award-winning dog sitting service, get in touch with Barking Mad today. Search for your postcode online to find your local branch and discover the perfect home-from-home dog sitting.