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When you’re searching for a pet sitter or dog walker, you need to know exactly what kind of person you’re entrusting with your loyal, furry friend. Whether you’re going on vacation or you just need someone to look after your pet on a regular basis, finding the right person can be a tricky task.

To make the job easier, here we look at 5 tips for choosing the ideal person who meets everything required in the pet sitter job description. So, without any further delay, let’s look at what you should be looking for when interviewing for a dog walker or pet sitter.

Pet Sitter Characteristic #1 - A Calm Personality

There are a number of positive characteristics that go into making the perfect dog walker/pet sitter, and one of the most important is calmness. Animals tend to follow the lead of the person who’s looking after them, so if the pet sitter or dog walker is calm, your pet will likely be calm too. Also, a quiet persona is least likely to belong to someone who might shout at or stress your pet while you’re not there.

Pet Sitter Characteristic #2 - Sensitive to Animal Needs

The best pet sitters are those that recognise the needs of your pet and that sometimes animals just want to be left alone. For example, if you need a pet sitter for your cat, they should notice things like when a cat’s desire for play has ended, you should give them some space. Another way to check this is to look at how the prospective dog walker interacts with your pooch and whether they’re gentle or rough when your dog starts to pull.

Pet Sitter Characteristic #3 - Flexible Availability

The pet sitter you choose should understand the need to offer their services on a flexible basis. Life doesn’t always go to plan, so it’s hugely beneficial if you can call upon them at short notice. Whether it’s because you’ve had to work late or an appointment has gone on longer than expected, a dog walker who can step in when you need them can be very advantageous.

Pet Sitter Characteristic #4 - Trustworthiness

One of the most important personal traits you’ll be looking for from your pet sitter is that they’re trustworthy, as they’ll not only be looking after your precious pup, but they’ll be left to their own devices unsupervised in your home. A good way to check this is to ask for references from previous employers or to ask them to subject themselves to a background check. In these circumstances, it’s best to trust your gut if you’re unsure about someone.

Pet Sitter Characteristic #5 - The More Experience, the Better

If your pet falls into the ‘high maintenance’ category, then you should be looking for a dog walker or pet sitter with lots of experience. This is particularly relevant when talking about large dogs or dogs with medical conditions, as someone who’s inexperienced might not be able to cope with everything that’s asked of them.

Pet Sitter: An Important Decision

Finding the right pet sitter for your dog is a critical decision, as you’re putting your complete faith in someone to look after your dog well and to treat your home with respect. Whilst you can never be 100% sure, you can normally tell within a few minutes how well someone gets along with animals.

The interview you have with them is your opportunity to truly get to know them and spot the positive and negative signs. Back this up with a background check and some reference checking, and you’ll go a long way to ensuring that you find exactly the right person for your needs. 

While we’re on animal care professionals, did you know it’s now possible to study Vet Assitant and Animal Care online? You can take everything at your own pace and fit your learning around your current responsibilities - meaning that the dream of a career in animal care is within everyone’s grasp.

At Online Courses Australia, we offer a wide range of online courses in a variety of different fields - including vet nursing. If you’d like to look at what we offer in closer detail, visit us online at and take a look around. If you’d like to speak to someone, however, give us a call at 1300 611 404 and we’ll be delighted to talk you through your options.

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