Money Talks: Finding a Pet Sitter

Sometimes bringing the family pet along for the ride is no problem.

But other times, it TMs just not practical which leaves you with a couple of choices.

You could board them.

But it's hardly the Hyatt.

For many, the right answer is pet sitters.

But if you go this route, you certainly want to hire the right one.

After all, you're entrusting them with your animals and your house.

"A pet sitter is someone who goes to a client's house, and walks and feeds their dog," said pet sitter, Lisa Van Nelson, "Feeds the cats, walks them, plays with them, spends time with them, maybe sleeps over at their house just to cuddle with them."

There are several options for finding a pet sitter.

A referral from a friend is probably best.

But you can also check places like Angie's list or associations like Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Pet Sitters.

Once you've got a few to interview, ask about price.

It should be $15 to $35 a day depending on the needs of your pet, the number of pets, and how often they need someone around during the day.

Then ask if they're bonded, insured and certified by a professional organization and ask for references.

And before you sign up, you need to see how your pet reacts to the person.

"It's important because you want to make sure they have no diseases, in case they bite," said Van Nelson, "You want to make sure they're friendly and they and the dog get along, or you and the cat get along very very well."

Bottom line?

If you love both your furry friends and your budget, shop for a pet sitter long before you'll need one.