Choose Your Pet Sitter Carefully
We searched for the best dog walkers and pet sitters in Northern Virginia!
Things to check for when selecting a company to walk your dog or take care of the pets in your home...
Is the pet sitting company licensed, insured and bonded?
Any dog walking or pet sitting company you trust to come in your home and care for your pets should be properly licensed, carry liability insurance, and have bonding for its pet sitters. A legitimate company can readily provide you with proof of the proper insurance and bonding.
Does the company accept credit cards?
If your pet sitting company accepts credit cards, it is a sign that the company is financially stable and has credit good enough for a bank to approve a merchant account. The ability to pay by credit card also offers you the ability to dispute the charges through your bank should there ever be a dispute. Often, smaller home-based pet sitting companies cannot qualify for a merchant account. If a dog walking firm cannot qualify for a merchant account, you should consider whether they are trustworthy and qualified to have the keys to your home.
Does the company operate from a P.O. box or a home office?
A professional pet sitter company should operate from a commercial office in a business office building. This shows the company is professional and financially stable. It also demonstrates the company has entered into a long-term commercial lease and plans to be in business for the long-haul.
How long has the dog walker company been in business?
Obviously, doing business with a pet sitting company that has been around a while makes everyone feel a little better. Ideally, you should be looking for a pet care company that has been in business for five or more years, indicating they have the pet care experience and stability necessary to be trusted with the keys to your home and well-being of your pets.
Does the pet sitter answer their phones during regular business hours -- or do you have to play "voicemail tag?"
A professional dog walking or pet sitting company staffs its office during normal business hours and can answer the phones. If you have to play "phone tag" by trading a series of phone messages with your pet sitter, then can you really count on being able to reach your dog walker in an emergency? A properly run pet sitting company ALWAYS answers its phones during reasonable business hours. We recommend against doing business with pet care companies who use voicemail during office hours and cannot answer their phones.