7 Important Facts – Before You Hire A Pet Sitter

PrinceDo you have a senior dog with pain or health ailments? Did you recently bring home an adorable, energetic puppy? Are your cats playful, curious, shy or elderly? Do you have a menagerie of multiple pets? Who can you call that will love and care for all your pet pals?

Its no secret that pet owners in the Portland metro area have many pet sitters to choose from.  I will give you some helpful tips so you have the tools to guide you through the process of hiring a great pet sitter for your furry family.

First criteria in finding a pet sitter is locating one that services your neighborhood.  Since pet sitters come to you we tend to work neighborhoods within a radius of our home offices.

What is most important to you.

  1. Do you want someone on a daily basis for dog walking or Vacation services?
  2. Do you want them to stay overnight at your home?
  3. Are they comfortable walking big dogs?
  4. Experience with administering medications?
  5. Do they bond well with your shy cats?
  6. Ability to communicate on a regular basis?
  7. Friendly and accommodating.
  8. Great referrals
  9. Are they licensed and Insured

Are all pet sitting services same service?

In General the answer is yes.  Some differences you will discover are:

  1. Sitters that offer overnights.
  2. Hourly rates.
  3. Potty breaks.
  4. Boarding pets in the sitters home.
  5. Dog Walking
  6. Administering medications

Do all pet sitting services charge the same rate?

While we are all very competitive in our rates, prices will vary depending on the services you request.
Factors that effect the rates are:

  • Number of pets
  • Frequency of visits
  • Administering medications
  • Time frames scheduled for visits.

Most Professional Pet Sitters do many of the pet visits by themselves.  In the event they are unable to visit your pets, they contract another pet sitter that is licensed, bonded and insured.  These are independent contractors. Your pet sitters I.C.’s are sitters that we have established a relationship with and feel they mirror our values and principles in caring for pets.  They have flexible schedules that allow them to assist when our company experiences high demand service periods. We work hard to establish trust and peace of mind with our clients and don’t want to leave your pets without great care when we get sick, have an emergency or get overbooked, this is why might have a “pool” of independent contractors that can step in.

Independent Contractors:

 The independent contractor takes direction and instructions from you the client. Independent Contractors are professional pet sitters that may have their own pet sitting service or work as an independent filling the gaps for professional pet sitting companies.  Depending on the arrangement with your primary pet sitter, you may pay the independent contractor directly or your primary pet sitter pays the I.C.

Independent Contractors are not employees.


Employees are trained to perform the  jobs at the quality level you should expect.  Employees are insured through the company. As an employer we are required to have workman’s compensation in case of injury on the job.

2 Most Important Advantages for you:

1) Back up pet sitter in case your regular sitter is sick, has an emergency, is overbooked or needs a vacation (yes, we love our job but “burn out” can happen to the best of us.

2) Injuries: If a pet sitter is injured on your property, workman’s compensation will cover  lost time on the job and help with medical bills. Dog bites and falls are the most common injuries.

What are you waiting for? Does your fur baby need a sitter?

Start calling pet sitters, ask them questions.

  • Ask them how they manage their scheduling.
  • Do they do all the pet sits themselves or hire employees?
  •  How many times a day can they visit your pets?
  • What if they have to stay longer than scheduled.
  • What if they lose your key?
  • Do they have experience with a particular breed or behavior that you feel is relevant to your situation.
  • Are they insured and bonded? Have they ever had to file a claim? If so, how did that work?


Hillsboro Dog Walkers 

  • Staffed with experience dog handlers.  We hire employees.
  • No overnights at this time.  We would be happy to tuck your fur babies in at night and visit early in the morning to wake them up.
  • No additional fees for extra time.

How long is a pet sitting visit?

Some visits only require 30 minutes while other visits may require a longer stay to ensure your pets are cared for to mine and your expectations.  It has been my experience that 30 to 45 minutes is average amount of time needed.

What is Hillsboro Dog Walkers Rate?

  • An average household has 1 – 4 pets.  Rates begin at $25 per visit.

I am insured through Pet Sitters Associates and have included a special property bond in my policy.
I have never lost a key yet but in the event I do, we ask for a second copy that is kept at the office in a lock box and does not contain your home address.
I have worked with dogs, small and large, young and old as well as shy cats, independent cats, mischievous cats and playful kittens.
In addition to your typical household pets, I have cared for horses, goats, chickens, pigs, goldfish, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, snakes and spiders.
I offer friendly service and reliable communication with my clients.
Do I have your tail wagging yet?

What is the difference between Pet Sitting vs Dog Walking?

Pet Sitting is when a pet sitter visits your pets while you are on vacation or a business trip.  We feed, play and care for all your pets.

Dog Walking- You hire us to specifically walk your dog while your are at work for a specified time period.

Leave a comment, let us know your experience with a professional pet sitter.  What is your most important concern when hiring someone to care for your pets?


  1. These are great tips, thank you for sharing. I have to go away on a business trip next week and I will be gone for two days. I have decided to get a pet sitter for the duration of my trip. I don’t really have anyone to take my dog, so this is my best option.

    • Pet Sitter says:

      You can also look for pet sitters that are members of NAPPS or PSI. NAPPS is National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. PSI is Pet Sitters International. Both provide a directory of members. Good luck with your search.

  2. Thanks for sharing these seven points on getting a dog sitter! I definitely agree that it is important for you to get a pet sitter that will do what you want them to do. Making a list of the duties you want the sitter to fulfill is a great way to ensure that you will find the right person for your pet, too.

  3. A pet sitter is by far the bes option of all, it’s a more personalised service, Since I won’t be able to call my dog and ask how he is doing….it’s best to get pictures every day just to see how he is doing, you can give your pet sitter a list of things you want your dog to do during the day and exactly how you want your dog to eat.

  4. My dog is like my kid, and one of my best friends. However, he isn’t always able or allowed to come on trips with me. I really need to find a pet sitter while I am away. I like that checklist you made.I’ll have to use it as I search for a pet sitter.

  5. You pointed out a lot of really good questions to ask yourself when it comes to hiring a pet sitter. I particularly liked the one about knowing if you want someone to come in every day. That would be a big thing to figure out if you have a cat. Some cats do pretty good by themselves and others don’t So, it seems like a good idea to know which type your cat is.

  6. I am planning on getting a German Sheperd puppy this summer. I travel for work every now and then so I will need to get a pet sitter. It is good to know that I should ask if they do nighttime visits or if they will stay with him at night.

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