Most of the time, you cannot take your fur family member with you when you are going out of town.
That’s where pet sitting service providers come into play.
A dog sitter will take care of your dog, love them, and even send you cute pics off them when you are away for work or vacation.
Sounds simple enough, but actually there are many things to consider when searching for a pet sitter. Trying to Google the most affordable or highest quality options might be a nightmare because it’s hard to know who you can trust. Will you regret bargain hunting and leaving your pup in the wrong hands?
Where can you find a trustworthy dog sitter at an affordable price, or better yet, for free?
In this post, we are going to discuss the different websites that will instantly connect you with a trustworthy dog sitter near you. Bonus: we’ve included a few ways to find a free pet sitter as well!
If you are looking for a veterinary financing plan for your dog, check out our review and comparison of Scratchpay vs Carecredit.
The Best Free and Affordable Dog Sitters Websites
Care.com is an online marketplace with a lot of services including childcare, tutoring, senior care, and pet care.
If you are looking for a dog sitter, there are plenty of affordable dog sitting care providers to choose from. Care.com operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and parts of Western Europe.
As a dog owner, you can then review profiles, read reviews from other customers, and search by experience or price, before picking a sitter. Dog sitters must complete a free profile to help give owners a sense of who they are. That said, per their website, Care.com is a place for seekers and caregivers to connect. As always, exercise caution when meeting new people. “Care.com does not verify the identity of, or information posted by, care seekers or caregivers.”
Care.com also has a safety centre that provides guides and safety resources to keep you safe and help you find the right dog sitter. While plenty of dog owners and sitters make happy connections on Care.com, it’s not our favorite site to find affordable pet sitting services.
Craigslist is always a great place to check out for affordable dog sitters in your city. Craigslist has so many pet sitting listings that you could honestly browse all day long. Alternatively, you can post an ad and wait for nearby sitters to find you.
Signing up to post an ad is straightforward. Instructions for posting can be found here. From the homepage, select the location and a category for the post. Posts can be made either with or without a Craigslist account. Once the post is made, verification will be sent via email.
Searching is done much the same way. Select the location and the category to find out what pet services are available. Read through the profiles and pick the sitter that you think looks best. Craigslist is great, but always a dice roll and price is always a negotiation. As with any online classified marketplace, be cautious. Sometimes people are not who they advertise. Quality can be spotty, but in a pinch it’s an excellent place to find pet sitters.
Launched in 2005, Kijiji is an online site for classified ads mainly in Canada and some locations in Italy. Kijiji receives over 16 million Canadian visitors monthly, making it one of the largest marketplaces in the country. Just think of it as the Craigslist of Canada.
Just like craigslist, you can do just about anything: buy and sell, look for a car, real estate, jobs, services, and of course, find pet sitting services. To post or manage ads, registration is required with a valid email address.
Select the pet category, input a location, and boom! You’ll find dozens of listings. There are over 1000 ads for pet sitting services in the Toronto area alone. From pet sitting and walking to grooming services, there are plenty to choose from. Just be safe and use your best judgement when interfacing with complete strangers.
Rover is an online service for pet owners to book trusted sitters and dog walkers. It’s a global company with operations across the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France, Spain, UK, Norway, and the Netherlands.
According to Rover, all new sitters are required to pass a background check and provide detailed personal information for their profiles. All sitters then have to be approved by a team of specialists who personally interview the sitter. All sitter care reviews are also verified. This makes Rover one of the strictest platforms, assuring safety and quality service. Rover has a safety page on its blog to read more about background checks, reservation protection, and commitment guarantees.
Rover advertises boarding, house sitting, dog walking, doggy daycare, and drop-in visits to check on any type of beloved pet during the day, in case those added services are of interest.
To make sure you get the best sitter for your dog, they have a meet and greet checklist to help you figure out if the sitter is the right fit for a pet. Overall the platform is super convenient and instills a lot of confidence. The only problem with Rover? It’s not the cheapest, but some times paying a little more provides invaluable peace of mind.
5. Pet Sitters International
Pet Sitters International or PSI, has been a leading educational platform for pet sitters since 1994. PSI offers membership to professional pet-care providers supporting them with tools and resources.
Unlike most other sites in this list, PSI is an educational platform but through its pet sitter locator tool. it will connect you with a PSI-member sitter.
The membership is only for pet sitters. Apart from training, they also provide tips to increase revenue and offers support from a network of other pet sitters from all around the globe Membership costs vary, depending on if you live in the United States, Canada, or internationally.
PSI recommends using a professional pet sitter instead of a hobby pet sitter. A professional sitter will have all required business licenses, insurance, bonding, and a professional contract.
A professional pet sitter will also have pet care training or hold a Certified Pet Sitter Designation.
They also have a free search option to find a local PSI pet sitter. There the dog owner can perform a search by location.
When looking for a local service, many people ask their neighbors. Nextdoor connects you with your neighbors and neighborhood. Their goal is to bring people together, encourage kindness within communities, and support local businesses.
People in any neighborhood can visit Nextdoor to get information, recommendations, ask for help, and build connections with their neighbors. Per their website, Nextdoor is available in over 11 countries, 276,000 neighborhoods globally. With over 52 million local business recommendations, it’s an excellent resource for finding pet sitters near you.
Create a free account to browse dependable sitters for your dog.
7. Care Guide’s PetSitter.com
CareGuide’s mission is to match pet parents with trusted care providers in cities across the US and Canada. One match is all it takes to create long-term relationships.
Whether you are looking for a dog sitter, dog walker, grooming services, or overnight care, Petsitter will connect you with thousands of pet caregivers. To search for a dog sitter visit their website and enter your location and the type of care provider you are looking for. You can also submit your email address and have pet sitters reach out to you.
PetSitter.com also has an interesting blog that has plenty of safety, dog grooming, medical, diet, and exercise tips content. It’s well worth reading and will also prepare any owner for when they have to be away from their pet.
TrustedHousesitters.com has a creative take on pet sitting. As a pet owner, you purchase one of their owner’s plans for a low annual fee. Then you then create a listing with pictures of your pets, and your intended dates of travel.
The best thing about their plans is that you get unlimited pet and home care at no extra cost. That means you can travel whenever you want to without feeling the cost of hiring a sitter each time.
You will then get applications from verified and reviewed sitters for you to vet. Once you choose one, you are cleared for takeoff, and your sitters will keep owners updated by sending updates and images of the pet during the day! This makes travel all the more relaxing.
Pet owners can also leave a detailed review of the sitters they use to help other pet owners in the community stay informed and safe. TrustedHousesitters verifies, reviews, and checks the references of all of their sitters so you can feel confident with sitters in their network. They also provide all pet sitters with access to a 24/7 Vet Advice Line in case of any problems or concerns.
Honestly, we can’t say enough about TrustedHousesitters. Their model gives you access to trustworthy pet sitters in your community — whenever you want — for a low annual fee. Check out the yearly membership pricing and plans here.
PetBacker literally has your back.
PetBacker understands how busy and hectic life can be especially for pet parents. Isn’t it easier to search for pet care needs all in one place? They offer a wide range of pet care services ranging from pet sitting, in-home boarding, dog walking to dog grooming.
Available in over 50 countries, PetBacker ensures that pet sitters on their platform love animals and dedicate their time to caring for pets.
This means pets are pampered and will not have to be locked in a cage all day. They may even be treated with a brush to their coat, or a healthy homemade treat!
PetBacker provides a reservation guarantee for last-minute cancellations, secure payment methods, 24/7 support, free insurance, and the ability to leave verified reviews of any dog sitter, walker, or groomer you contract.
Connecting with a pet sitter is easy either through the website or mobile app
Fetchpetcare.com offers dog walking, pet sitting, puppy care, medication administration, pet transportation, and extended care services to pet parents.
Sometimes your dog is on a strict schedule with prescribed medications whether they be pills or injections. However, you cannot always be at home to meet this need. The trained sitters of Fetch will take care of that on your behalf.
Pet transportation is another common need for a pet owner with a busy life. Regardless if it is for a grooming session, to the vet, or an appointment to play with a frisbee, this is an endlessly helpful service to offer.
The best part is their pet sitting service. Fetch will ensure your dog’s needs are completely met! Food, treats, walks, you name it!
Fetch also offers extended care. “Almost” overnight care allows dogs and other pets to receive an evening visit when you are away. This way the normal routine can be maintained, which means less stress for both you and your dog!
All of this adds up to happy sleeping for all!
11. A Family Member, Friend, or Neighbor
What about a trusted family member? A willing family member could be a wonderful and familiar option for your dog.
The great thing about this is that often a willing family may do this for free. Or for a trade! Maybe there is something they need done? When your dog is with someone you trust, it’s way safer compared to leaving them with an unknown dog sitter.
A close friend is also a great option. Many people already have pets and are willing to take care of another dog for a while. This can be for a fraction of the cost.
Don’t forget to count on your neighbor. A friendly neighbor may be willing to help out. Or a neighbor’s teenager might be the ticket.
The local newspaper is also worth checking. People place advertisements for their services often.
These are options to consider when budget constraints only allow so much. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help along the way.
If you’re interested in learning about telemedicine for pets, see our review of Vetster, one of the leading brands in this emerging industry.
The Verdict: What’s the cheapest way to find a trustworthy dog sitter?
This list will allow pet owners to get started on their search for a pet sitter near them.
The search for an affordable and trusted pet sitter takes time since there are endless options to consider. From online classified sites to specialized caregiving companies, the list offers plenty of options.
So what’s our top pick?
We particularly love Trusted House Sitters. Its low annual fee for unlimited services from vetted sitters is genius. If you’re confused where to start looking, we recommend checking them out first.
One last thing to keep in mind: once you find a trusted sitter for your pet, the relationship can become a long-term contract. The hardest part is finding a trustworthy contact initially, but knowing your beloved pet is safe is priceless and well-worth the time and research.
Let us know in the comments below where you’ve had the most success finding dog sitters.