How to Be the Best Dog Sitter: An Eager Sitter’s Checklist

How to Be the Best Dog Sitter: An Eager Sitter’s Checklist

If you want to become the dog sitter that almost every dog owner recommends to their friends, you have to tick every box in our How to be a good dog sitter checklist! Loving dogs is not enough as there are still other things you have to keep in mind to become the greatest dog sitter dog owners ever had that even their dog would agree with.

Being a dog sitter is great for people who love sharing their nurturing personality to other dogs. Seeing pooches being happy with your presence while their owner is away is a very satisfying experience that the veteran dog sitters know about. The bonds you get to keep with every dog sit you have is something that cannot be reciprocated with any monetary value. Most of the time dog sitters get paid via the free accommodation you receive while staying in the owner’s home as you pet sit which makes this job ideal for travellers looking to save some money by cutting down their lodging costs. So if you are very much interested in becoming a dog sitter that is beloved by all home owners, take a look at our checklist below:


  • You have to genuinely love dogs

This is a given, how can you become a good dog sitter if you despise these pooches? To become a dog sitter, you need to have the mindset that dogs are living individuals that deserve the utmost care and love that you can give. Anyone can take care of a dog but not anyone can take care of a dog while giving it the most genuine love and care one can provide. Try your best to become the first kind. Dogs can sense it if you truly love them because you are a good person or you are just doing it because you are required to do so.

Woman Loving the Dog

  • You have to educate yourself well about dogs

Being a dog sitter with your only knowledge about them being animals will not take you anywhere. You will just be wasting your, the pet owner’s and the pet’s time if you know none other than dogs being four legged animals. If you want to be a good dog sitter, it is a good idea to be well equipped with information regarding different dog breeds, their different temperaments and their different needs. Being knowledgeable about these things will make the pet owner feel that their pet will be secure under your care as you have done your own research regarding dogs.

Woman Researching Dogs

  • You have to be a great communicator

As a pet sitter residing in the home of the pet owner, it is important that you know how to communicate properly and thoroughly with the dog’s owner. To be a good dog sitter it is important to give daily updates to the owner about how well their pet is doing under your supervision and care via photos and videos. This will make the pet owner feel that you are truly someone who can be trusted and understands the possible worry they have about leaving their beloved critter under some stranger’s care.

Sitter Taking Picture of Dog

  • You have to be calm and collected

To be a good dog sitter, it is essential that you are a calm and collected person. Dogs can sense it if you are tense when a conflicting situation arises and that may result in a chaotic situation during the pet sit. If you want a pet sitting session to go well, it is important that you can always assess and handle things going on around you with the dog as much as possible with a cool and collected mind. Practicing mindful meditations can help with keeping yourself chill yet alert during these kinds of moments.

Woman Practicing Meditation at Bedroom

  • You have to know basic pet first aid

A good dog sitter will at least have information on the basic to-dos when an accident happens to the dog. Of course, not all dog sits will go on smoothly and there is always a chance that something will go wrong. Knowing basic pet first aid will be very helpful as it decreases the probability of the pet owner returning home to an unwell dog. The dog owner will recognize you as a good dog sitter if their pet is as healthy and as well-kept as the day they left the dog under your care.

Cute Dog Dressed as Veterinarian

  • You have to be very inquisitive to the owner about the dog you are about to sit

Dog owners know that a dog sitter is good if during the interview phase before the pet sit agreement, the pet sitter would ask a lot of questions about the dog to be cared for. It tells the pet owner of how interested you are in taking care of their dog. This creates a very good impression on the pet owner. Genuinely asking questions about the dog’s personality, the dog’s likes and dislikes, the dog’s habits and the like shows that you intend to take really good care of their dog while they are away by getting to know as much as possible about their pet as soon as possible.

Inquisitive Woman Asks Pet Owner

  • You have to know how to introduce yourself to a dog to create a bond right away

A good dog sitter knows how to create a good first impression on the dog they are about to sit. You definitely do not want your first meetup with the dog ending up with bite marks all over your hands. That creates an impression to the dog owner that you might not be able to handle the pet during the sit. This is why it is important to know the 101’s of your first meeting with a dog. Basically you have to assess if the dog’s temperament is friendly, scared or protective. From that assessment, you move on to how you approach the dog. The most important tip is to never rush into a dog with your high pitched voice squealing in excitement as that might sound like a threat to the dog who is seeing you for the first time. To learn more about introducing yourself to a dog, check out this right way to introduce yourself to a dog article from Petful.

 Patting Dog on Head

If you have ticked all the boxes in our checklist, then most definitely pet and house owners will be seeing you as an awesome dog sitter! If you are interested in finding your first pet and house sit as a first time dog sitter, check out HouseCarers, our recommended house sitting community that will match you with interested pet owners. Best of luck on your pet sitting journey!