What Questions Should I Ask When Checking References For A Pet Sitter

Knowing the right questions to ask when checking references for a pet sitter can make or break your experience with the pet sitter you hire.  My sister-in-law, who doesn’t live locally to me, recently asked for help finding a pet sitter for her sweet two pups, Buddy and Bruno. After following the steps in my previous articles on How Do I Find A Pet Sitter and What To Look For When Hiring A Pet Sitter, I asked my sister-in-law if I could call the references we were given for the two different pet sitting businesses we contacted in her area. I thought who better to know what questions should I ask when checking references for a pet sitter than a professional pet sitter with over a decade of experience.

Check out my top 12 list of what questions should I ask when checking references for a pet sitter.

  1. What kind of pets do you have?
  2. What kind of services do you use when you hire them to care for your pets?
  3. Did they meet you with you for a complimentary consultation before you hired them?
  4. Did they have you complete a detailed intake form on caring for your pets and home?
  5. Were your pets and your home as expected upon your return?
  6. Did they have a backup plan in the event of a personal emergency or illness making it so they couldn’t come to your pet sitting visits or overnights?
  7. How many times have you hired them?
  8. When was the last time they cared for your pets?
  9. What do you like about them the most?
  10. Have you ever had any negative experiences when working with them?
  11. Do they send you updates on your pets when you are away?
  12. Would you refer them to care for your best friend’s pets?
Buddy and Bruno

Buddy and Bruno

I truly believe if you ask all of the above questions to a minimum of 3 to 4 different clients, you will be able to make a well informed decision on whether you would like to hire the pet sitter.  Based on the calls I made asking the above questions I was able to weed out the pet sitter I didn’t want my sister-in-law to use for Buddy and Bruno and to confirm which one to move forward with in setting up a complimentary consultation.

Do you have suggestions for other questions to add to our list?





  • Alana says:

    These are all excellent questions (some would be great for hiring a sitter for a human baby, too!) I might add a question regarding how the proposed sitter would handle an emergency – for example, what would they do if your dog accidentally escaped from the yard?

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    When I write the post I also thought these tips could be useful for checking references on a baby sitter. Let’s face it, our pets are our babies. Great suggestion to add a question on how the sitter would handle an emergency. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Slimdoggy says:

    What a great list. We might be in the market for a new dog walker soon , so this will come in handy.

  • Leah Erb says:

    Thank you for the practical advice and check lists. I had not thought of asking about a backup plan!

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    We are so glad our list of questions to ask when checking references for a pet sitter may come in handy if you will be looking for a new dog walker soon.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    Yes, a backup plan is very important in the event of an emergency of illness.

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