‘Tis the season for holiday travel. In 2018, AAA projected that a record-breaking 112.5 million Americans traveled during the year-end holiday period. Since people cannot always take their pets with them during holiday travel, there is an increased demand for pet care this time of year. One of the options for pet care is hiring an in-home pet sitter.

To find a reliable pet sitter, there are several things you should do. First, ask family, friends, or your veterinarian for recommendations. Websites such as Pet Sitters International, Rover or Care.com are also good resources for finding pet sitters. Next, interview potential candidates to get to know them better and see who the best fit for your pet is. Some of the questions you can ask are their level of experience, if they are bonded, insured and certified by a professional organization, and ask for a list of references. Once you have selected a sitter, invite them to your home to play with your pet to make sure your pet sitter and your pet are quite comfortable with each other.

Before you leave town, make sure your pet’s food, leash and toys are laid out for your pet sitter. Leave detailed instructions on specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including your veterinarian’s information. Although it can be difficult to leave your pet at home while you travel out of town, taking steps to find the right pet sitter will help give you peace of mind that your pet receives the level of care they deserve.