Professional or Hobby Pet Sitter-What You Need to Know Before Choosing

A Professional Pet Sitter provides personalized, expert care for your pets.

A Professional Pet Sitter provides personalized, expert care for your pets.

Most pet owners have had to make the decision to trust someone to care for their pets in their absence. When it comes to choices, there are many options to consider. Many pet caregivers entrust boarding kennels outside of the home to care for pets. Another popular option is in-home pet care, which enables pets to stay in the home environment with an outside pet care provider coming in for a pre-determined number of visits for the length of the owners absence.

When looking for an in home pet sitter, one of the first factors that pet owners consider is cost. There are many resources available in choosing a pet sitter online and the community. Websites offering discount pet sitting services are in abundance. Advertisements and business cards flood pet supply stores and veterinarian offices. Professional Pet Sitters advertise their services in these high traffic areas as well as Hobby Sitters looking to make extra income. How do you know who will be the best choice for your pet’s needs?



Who Wouldn’t Resist A Sweet Deal?

Have you or anyone that you know ever paid the neighbor’s teenage kid a couple bucks to feed and/or take your pets out in your absence?  Maybe you hired a college student that walked dogs for extra income?

There are many people that will do pet sitting as supplemental income or as a side job to make ends meet or for a little extra cash. Your friend that loves animals offers to save you some money by discounting pet sitting prices in order to help you out and make some extra money…nothing wrong with helping each other out, right ? After all, you trust your friend and are assured that your pets will be in the most responsible, trustworthy hands in your absence. They love animals and are great friends with yours! It’s a win-win for all.

Maybe Not!

When we entrust someone to care for our pets, we are hopeful that person (or persons) are professional, experts at caring for your precious pets, reliable and trustworthy. This isn’t to say that a Hobby Pet Sitter does not strive to embody these qualities. We assume that anyone that provides service in the pet sitting industry does it out of love and compassion for animals.

It’s an honorable mindset, but it’s not enough.

A Professional Pet Sitter does not assume the title lightly. There are several characteristics that differentiate a Professional Pet Sitter from a Hobby Pet Sitter.

Professional Pet Sitters Carry Liability Insurance

When a Professional Pet Sitter enters into a service agreement with a client, both parties hope for, plan and envision the best scenario. However, the Professional Pet Sitter plans for the worst possible scenario to provide the best possible experience for the client. After all, it is in emergency situations that experience and knowledge of providing damage control that the client needs to trust the pet sitter to know what to do!

You see, a Professional Pet Sitter has had ample experience with a wide variety of animals because pet sitting is their specialty. In the course of this vast experience, despite the most carefully laid plans, sometimes mishaps still occur! Pipe bursts, flooding, power outages, dog fights with off leash animals, medical emergencies are just a few emergency situations Professional Pet Sitters have encountered. The Professional Pet Sitter carries liability insurance in the event of an unfortunate situation. Hobby Pet Sitters very rarely carry liability insurance.

Professional Pet Sitters are Reliable

A Professional Pet Sitter is an expert at juggling scheduling conflicts, accommodating emergency requests on short notice and having back up coverage in the event of a personal emergency. Servicing pet clients is a Professional Pet Sitter’s top priority; consistent, reliable service with an experienced pet care provider is readily available without conflicts due to other employment, school schedules or other obligations that the Hobby Sitter often has.

Professional Pet Sitters Have Vast Experience

Spending time with animals day in and out naturally lends itself to rich, varied experiences caring for pets of different species, breeds and temperaments. The Professional Pet Sitter is an expert with a wide variety of exposure to different types of pets. A Professional Pet Sitter will be sure to implement a detailed screening process to determine the best service to offer a client based on this extensive background focusing solely on pet care.

Professional Pet Sitters Are Well Equipped to Handle Emergencies

Professional Pet Sitters are able to administer medication to different species of pets. In addition, a Professional Pet Sitter is able to perform first aid to pets and many Professional Pet Sitters are certified in Pet CPR . A Professional Pet Sitter can expertly and calmly handle pet emergencies because of the vast amount of pets cared for over time. In addition, a Professional Pet Sitter will go over emergency procedures with the client at the initial pet care consultation.

Professional Pet Sitters Continue Professional Development in Pet Care

Expert, high quality, professional services are what you can expect from a Professional Pet Sitter. A Professional Pet Sitter is be able to offer expert care because of the ongoing training and professional accreditations obtained in order to provide improved services to clients.

Professional Pet Sitters engage in professional development in many different ways which include online training, local programs, hands on experience and membership in different Professional Pet Sitting Organizations. Many Professional Pet Sitters are also active in dog sports, obedience training and have experience in behavioral issues. In addition, Professional Pet Sitters know how to administer medications. It is not always an easy feat to pill or give a shot to an unhappy or sick pet! A Professional Pet Sitter has extensive experience with giving stressed pets medication.

Community Ties

When you receive services from a Professional Pet Sitter, you will have access to professional references from satisfied clients. This is a big difference from hearing about “a friend of a friend” that does pet sitting “on the side”. A Professional Pet Sitter has built a reputation as a trusted member of the community in which they service pets. This reputation has been built on quality, professional service.

In A Nutshell

Before hiring a Pet Sitter, consider the ideal situation in which you want your pets placed. Weigh the pros and cons of which type of sitter will be the best fit for your needs. When thinking about cost vs. service, reflect on the quality of service you will receive depending on the experience and professionalism of the type of Pet Sitter you decide to hire. After all, your pets deserve the very best!


  1. Hi Millicent, you have explained the things very well. I have never thought like this before and I believe that there are many owners who also get agree with me. This is very informative blog which I have come across. And, thanks for sharing these essential points.

    • Millicent Little says

      Thanks for your feedback Hans! I am glad that this info was useful to you. I recently gained a new client after sharing this blog with them. They were going to have a family member let their dog out while they were out of town but saw some red flags after reading this.

  2. do you know of the best pet sitter in South Florida?


  1. […] at your wonderful home with your pets is my full-time job so I take it very seriously.  Many hobby sitters can charge much less for overnight care because they are just that- hobby […]

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