Finding a Pet Care Provider
Hundreds of pet-sitting, dog-walking and pet care providers serve Northern Virginia. The League has compiled the following useful tips to help pet owners find the right service for their companion animal.
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
NAPPS is a resource to help pet owners locate pet sitters.
Northern Virginia Pet Sitters Network (NVPSN)
NVPSN maintains a membership list of professional pet sitters in the Northern Virginia area. NVPSN is a non-profit organization that donates its annual net revenue to local animal welfare groups.
MetroPets Online promotes the adoption of homeless animals and the well-being of companion animals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They provide an online directory of organizations and services including pet sitters and dog walkers.
Tips on Selecting a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
Professional pet sitters and dog walkers should be bonded and insured. When considering a pet sitter/dog walker, ask for references and expect an initial visit to cover introductions and details including the location of leashes, food, etc. You will be expected to give a copy of your key. The pet sitter should ask you for veterinary information including proof that your pets are up to date on vaccinations.
Important Questions to Ask a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- Are you a member of Pet Sitters International? National Association of Professional Pet Sitters? Better Business Bureau? (If so, check their records).
- Do you have your own pets?
- Can you give me three client referrals?
- How long will you sit/walk my dog? Do you provide additional walks or play time for an extra fee?
- Will there be other dogs or animals with the walker/sitter?
- When you are unable to come, who is your back-up?
- Will you ever send anyone to my home whom I haven’t met?
- What types of animals do you typically care for? Which do you prefer?
- What geographical area do you serve?