Pets: Pet Sitting

Four Steps to Picking the Right Pet Sitter

Don’t trust the care of your beloved beast to any old someone.

By Zach Dundas January 23, 2017 Published in the February 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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Meet ’Em

Our wonder-age naturally offers many ways to find pet sitters. In Portland—among other options—owners can ply the slick, Airbnb-like interface of, or dig into the grassroots directories of (Word of mouth still functions just fine!) Whatever your path, book some up-front face time with a person whom, by definition, you will rarely see as they tend to your animals, and maybe your plants, mail, and shelter in general.

Give Them More Info Than They’ll Ever Use

Your prospective sitter should want to know about your household. A lot about it. Think: the relevant animals’ names, ages, and feeding and medication schedule. But also emergency contacts, trash-collection schedules, and utilities information, like fuse box and water heater locations.

Seek an Emotional Match

How does your potential sitter react to your description of your cat’s aloofness? Your dog’s semi-unreasonable demands on walk duration? Is this a person with the dedication and—yes—love to decode your particular beasts’ demands? Signs of impatience are signs to keep looking.

Consider Commitment

Digital dating didn’t replace lasting romance. Likewise, look for sitters who have long-standing relationships with their existing clients. When Snowpocalypse hits and you’re in Florida, you want someone who will go the full Edmund Hillary—because they care about your animals (almost) as much as you do. 

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