Don’t be Tricked

“I always advise pet owners to do their due diligence in researching pet-sitting options,” adds Moran. “Just because you’ve seen a pet sitter in an online listing—or even on a nationally-publicized directory—doesn’t ensure they are a legitimate pet-sitting business.” 

Pet owners in need of pet-sitting services can visit PSI’s Official Pet Sitter Locator™ at to find pet sitters in their areas and download the Pet Sitter Interview checklist. To learn more about PSI or becoming a professional pet sitter, visit

“Don’t Be Tricked by Pseudo Pet Sitters,” Warns Pet Sitters International

October 8, 2014
by Beth Stultz, Pet Sitters International

Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, encourages pet owners to educate themselves on the qualifications of a real, professional pet sitter before choosing a pet-care option this holiday season.

With U.S. pet ownership at an all-time high, the need for pet-sitting services continues to grow. For the 82.5 million pet-owning U.S. households, Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, offers this advice: Don’t be tricked by pseudo pet sitters.

In recent years, news reports have described the horror of a dog left to starve to death by a family friend while the owner was helping his wife at a hospital in another state and dogs killed by a bobcat when the pet sitter locked them outside for days. Reports of theft, pet injuries or property damage at the hands of a person asked to provide pet care are, unfortunately, not uncommon.

“Often times, pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term ‘pet sitter’ carelessly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a ‘pet sitter,’” explained PSI President Patti J. Moran. “It is important pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”

Even for pet owners committed to using professional pet sitters instead of friends or family, the search can be tricky.

Moran notes that with the influx of pet-care directory sites popping up in the last couple of years and news stories touting pet sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for pet care.

“Simply being listed on an online pet-sitter directory does not make a pet sitter a professional, qualified care provider,” explains Moran. “Anyone can post a profile advertising pet-sitting services, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring a ‘real pet sitter’ to care for their pets.”

PSI advises pet owners to ask seven important questions when interviewing a potential pet sitter:
1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state?
2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?
5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

PSI also recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a Pet Sitter Interview checklist on its Web site to guide pet owners in the interview process.

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