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3 Tips for Selecting a Pet Sitter for Your Holiday Plans

(12/6/2023)  If you haven’t already found a pet sitter to care for Spot or Fluffy, there still may be time. But you’ll need to act quickly to ensure you can find a responsible pet sitter to care for your pets.


Pet Sitters International, a trade association for professional pet sitters, expects demand for the holidays to be strong this year – especially in view of the mysterious respiratory illness affecting dogs in multiple states, which is causing many pet parents to decide to keep their dogs home rather than board them in a kennel.


“Knowing that a beloved pet can enjoy the stress-free environment of its own home during the holiday season can provide great peace of mind,” said Patti J. Moran, PSI founder and CEO. “That’s why it is important for pet parents to act right away to select a legitimate, professional pet-sitting business to care for their pets.”


Here are some tips for pet parents seeking a professional pet-sitting or dog-walking service this holiday season:


Get a referral. The best way to find a responsible, experienced pet sitter is to ask friends or relatives for referrals. You can even ask a pet sitter you have used previously whom they recommend if they are already booked. Most sitters are happy to provide recommendations. You can also search for local PSI member pet sitters at


Do your due diligence. Be sure to vet (no pun intended!) the pet sitter you’re considering. Ask for references, and contact each one. You should also schedule a “meet and greet” or “initial consultation” at your home. Carefully observe the sitter’s interaction with your pets, review their credentials and ask any questions you may have.


Ask how to prepare your home. If you are traveling out of town for the holidays, ask the sitter how you can best prepare your home for their arrival, whether that means moving (or removing) certain decorations to keep them out of pets’ reach, making plans for snow removal, etc.



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