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Travel with Peace of Mind: How To Find Great Pet Sitters Everywhere You Go RVing

fluffy Lhasa Apso looks up with judgement in her eyes during a pet sitting session
Sweet Sadie always looks like she is evaluating your every move. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

We love taking our pets with us in our RV. They love to go and are pretty well-behaved at the campsite. According to some surveys, around 70 percent of RVers travel with their pets. That’s a lot of pets in RVs.

There are plenty of challenges when you take your pet with you. For instance, what happens when your pet can’t go sightseeing with you? Many national parks do not allow dogs in most parts of the park. Some have a few trails that allow dogs. What do you do if you want to go out to eat or sightsee without your pets?

You might have a challenging dog that barks constantly if left alone or tears things up. You also have to consider the outside temperature. While your pets can remain cool in the air-conditioned RV, what if the electricity goes out or your AC fails? The temperature can reach a deadly level in a short time.

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Pet sitters are a great option when your dog or cat and you need a break from the RV. Read on for more information on utilizing a pet sitter in your RV.

Understanding the Need for a Pet Sitter

grizzled pug with teeth sticking out
Romeo is 14 and the quietest dog. He spent six days with us and was able to avoid a stressful kennel. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

Having a pet sitter come and check on your animals while you are out makes you and your pets feel more secure. You can enjoy that hike in a national park or dinner out with friends without constant worry.

Not only are your pets physically safe, but they can also have some mental stimulation when you are gone so they don’t become destructive or bark constantly.

As a pet sitter and a dog owner, I understand that while animals will probably be ok most of the time when you are gone, it does give you and your pet peace of mind to know that someone is checking up on them.

I’m one of those whose mind often drifts to the worst scenarios when I leave my pets alone. With a pet sitter, your furry friends get some special treatment and you have support if you cannot return to your campsite due to unforeseen circumstances.

Options for Finding Pet Sitters

pet sitting and walking a large golden doodle with harness
Chip gets all the looks when I walk him in our park. He is 98 pounds of doggy sweetness. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

Online Pet Sitter Services

Online pet sitting services are one way to find someone to care for your pet while you are away from your RV. Check out apps such as Rover, Care.com, Fetch, and TrustedHousesitters.

Rover

Rover is a popular pet sitting service that you can find in all 50 states and nine countries. Download the app or go to Rover.com and find options for house sitting, boarding, training, and more. All Rover sitters must pass a background check, provide their profile and personal information, and be approved by Rover’s team of sitter specialists.

While prices vary, most charge anywhere from $20-$30 for a one-time visit.

Care.com

You might think of Care.com if you are looking for a babysitter but they also provide dog-sitting, boarding, grooming, and training services. This service also requires background checks for its carers and requires a membership fee. Prices are around $17 per hour, depending on the service and the location.

Fetch

Fetch services include pet sitting, overnight boarding at your place, dog walking, and even a pet taxi service for grooming appointments, vet appointments, and more. If your pet needs medicine, Fetch can provide someone who will administer those shots or pills or provide supervision after surgery, as well.

Fetch can cost as little as $20 per pet outing if you want a dog walker. Of course, prices vary based on your location and the services you require.

TrustedHousitters

TrustedHousitters is a membership service that allows pet owners to interview and choose sitters. The membership serves as your payment, so no money is transacted with the pet sitter. You can browse through listings and choose the person who fits your needs. If you like to pet sit and want to visit a popular tourist area anywhere in the world, you get to take care of the pets and have a place to stay.

Memberships can be anywhere from $129-$400 a year depending on the options you choose.

Local Community Boards

Campground community boards or local community centers are also great places to find pet sitters.

RV Park Recommendations

I have had a few pet sitting gigs just from work camping in a campground’s front office. You can ask the front office workers or camp hosts and they can usually provide recommendations. Your RV neighbors could also be helpful. Start a conversation and see where it leads. You might even be able to exchange dog-sitting services with other pet owners in the park.

Vetting Potential Pet Sitters

terrier with pink harness. toungue out
Lucy made sure she was the top dog. Jack Russell terriers are a feisty breed. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

Interview Process

Make sure you make a list of questions for your potential pet sitter to gauge their experience and compatibility with your pet. A meet and greet is a must so you can see how they interact with your pet and how your pet responds to them.

Questions for potential pet sitters could include:

  • Do you have a pet?
  • How long have you been pet sitting?
  • What are some of your experiences, good and bad, with your previous clients?
  • How often can you visit my dog and what will you do? Will you feed him or walk him?
  • What amount of time will you spend with my dog?

As a pet sitter, I make sure that the client knows when I will be coming over and what I will be doing. I try to find out when they will leave and come back and I text a picture of their pet and give them updates.

Of course, some pet owners will want you to take their pets into your home because of barking or destruction issues. I have two dogs so I always make sure all dogs are compatible before I agree to pet sit in this manner. You will want to see what their house or RV is like, and where the dog will stay. If there is a backyard you will want to be sure there is no place where your dog can escape.

References and Reviews

References and reviews are great but might be more difficult to obtain if you aren’t utilizing a service. The apps and services (listed above) list sitters who are already vetted with background checks, references, etc. You might be taking your chances if you pick the first person that wants to do the job. You might also find someone who you want to use again and again.

Trial Run

Always have a trial run before you confirm someone to take care of your pets. During this time, you can see how your pet reacts to a stranger and how the pet sitter acts with your dog or cat. I once agreed to pet sit at a campground where I was working camping. When I asked about meeting the dogs, the couple assured me their dogs were friendly and there would be no problem.

When I arrived at the camper, two very large Doodles with deep barks tried to bum-rush me at the door. It turns out that they were not as threatening as they appeared. A few treats later, we were all best friends. I’m not easily intimated, but it did make me wonder if I should have said yes without a meet-and-greet.

Preparing Your Pet for a Sitter

Routine and Instructions

I can’t stress enough the importance of giving your pet sitter detailed instructions regarding your pet’s routine, diet, and any behavior or medical needs. In today’s world, we can be connected with someone at the tap of our phone,. But you never know when you might be out of a service area, and your pet sitter needs to contact you.

Instructions should include:

  • Your contact information
  • The contact information of a local veterinarian or emergency vet: As a pet sitter, I want to have that at my fingertips if something happens. I don’t want to have to look it up. Even if it is not your vet, at least that person has a place to call in an emergency.
  • Your pet’s routine
  • Tell them how often your dog will need to go out to potty and be walked.
  • Feeding time and amount of food
  • Your dog’s personality traits: If your dog is reactive or doesn’t like other dogs, let the pet sitter know.

Comfort Items

black lab puppy on a dog bed with toys during pet sitting
Cinder, the 4-month-old lab puppy, brought her bed along for comfort during her stay. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

If you plan on taking your dog to the pet sitter’s home, pack familiar toys, bedding, and other items to make your pet feel comfortable. You might want to include an article of clothing with your smell to comfort your dog while you are away.

Emergency Information

You probably don’t want to think about an emergency happening while you are away, but giving your pet sitter a list of emergency contacts, including your vet and a nearby emergency animal hospital is important.

Utilizing Technology

There is so much technology out there that can assist in keeping tabs on your animals while you are away. From devices that show you the temperature in your RV, to pet cams that show you what your dog is doing and even distribute treats, you can stay connected with your pets while away from your RV.

Pet sitters add another layer of safety and peace of mind when you leave your dog or cat in your RV.

Wrapping Up How To Find Pet Sitters While RVing

Tri colored cavalier and red aussie wait on a bed with paws hanging down
Newton and Remi love to travel with us. We wouldn’t think of leaving them behind. Photo by Terri Nighswonger

If you find a reliable pet sitter, reward them well and keep utilizing them for as long as you are able. Most care for your pets as much as they care for their own. You will know when you find a good one. Your pets will be happy to see them and relaxed and happy when you get home.

Plan well in advance so you can find the best pet sitter for both you and your pet. As a full-time RVer, this might take some effort, but your planning and research will pay off.

When you find the perfect pet sitter, give them all the support and the information they need to provide the best care for your pet.

Providing these small things makes it a win-win for our pets.

Check out the video below for more tips on RVing with your pets and let us know in the comments what your experiences have been finding a pet sitter while you travel.

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