Things Every Pet Sitter Should Know

In the United States alone, more than 90.5 million families own some sort of pet, the most common being dogs. Many families hire a pet sitter to watch their animals when they go out of town, to work, or otherwise can’t care for their pet.

We’re here to help you get the basics down if you’re looking into pet sitting. Here are some of the top tips and tricks for a pet sitter.

Be Professional

Of course, as a professional pet sitter, joining a professional pet sitting association like NAPPS is vital. They’ll provide you with the tools and resources you need to be a success.

With NAPPS, the only national and non-profit association, you’ll get the education every pet sitter needs to be ready for any situation. They have various certification courses and educational opportunities to provide necessary guidance to new and seasoned pet sitters alike.

Lastly, before you take on any pet sitting job, you want to have insurance. This will not only protect you, but it will ensure the home and animal you’re caring for are looked after too. As a NAPPS member, you have the opportunity to join group liability packages.

Get To Know the Animal

One of the most important things to know as a pet sitter is an animal itself. If you aren’t familiar with the type of animal you’ll be pet sitting on, you should look into the animal as much as possible.

Different animals require different kinds of care and knowledge. Cats and dogs behave significantly differently from each other, and specific breeds of dogs will also be different. Speak with the pet parent to know the animal’s quirks, so you know what to expect.

Establish Familiarity

Once you know the animal, you should establish familiarity with them. Some animals will be stand-offish or even hostile to unfamiliar people. If you’re going to be caring for the animal, you need it to feel safe with you.

An excellent way to do this is to go to the home before sitting and familiarize the animal with your presence. Some animals may also respond positively to treats to help them see you as a friendly individual that poses no threats to their environment.

You can also take this time to see any medicines that the pet parent has them on. Natural alternatives for dogs have become exceptionally common, and you may need to help keep the pet’s medicine regimen up.

Stay Safe

Unfortunately, some animals can pose a threat. It’s best not to do anything the animal isn’t used to and to ask the pet parent about any issues that may arise.

If you’re pet-sitting an animal in a cage – an arachnid or reptile, for example – you should avoid removing them from the cage. Some spiders and snakes have venom that can quickly spell disaster for you should things go wrong.

The same is true for dogs and other pets you may be sitting for. If the dog is typically aggressive around other dogs, consider taking precautions before taking them on a walk or out in public. Overall, avoid situations or anything that may make the animal uncomfortable.

Past your safety, ensure that you’re keeping the pet as safe as possible. Don’t leave things out that a curious animal may want to eat or get into, such as medicines or harmful foods. The pet’s safety and care are your priority, so do everything possible to keep them safe!

Have Contacts On Hand

Knowing the pet’s pet parent’s contact information is crucial if an emergency arises. You may need to know if a behavior is normal for the pet or clarify if you forgot to ask. The pet may be on a diet to help with weight loss. If that is the case, you may need clarification on feeding times.

Make sure that you have the contact information for anyone you may need to talk to. That includes emergency personnel as well in case something goes wrong.

Get the Pet’s Veterinarian Information

Above all, you should know where the nearest emergency centers are in case there’s an emergency. visit to find all the businesses near your city.

If something happens, you need to know where to bring the animal. You can often find contact information for local vets in family pet guides. Make sure to ask the pet parent which vets their pet usually sees for medical care.

If such information isn’t available, a quick online search is usually all it takes for you to find the nearest vet and get emergency help quickly.


Pet sitting is a fun, important job to help keep animals safe and let the pet parents carry on with their business.

If you’re looking into pet sitting, do your best to learn about the animal as well as possible so you know what to expect. Ensure you have all the essential contact information and keep the environment safe for you and the pet.

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