Dog sitting in a foster family – information and advice

What is Dog Sitting?

What is Dog Sitting?
What is Dog Sitting?

Dog sitting in a foster family – information and advice

What is Dog Sitting?

What is Dog Sitting?
What is Dog Sitting?

Dog sitting is a babysitting service during which your dog spends the night with a guardian. Unlike a kennel, your pet stays in a family environment and receives personalized care, as if they were at home.

How much does a dog sitter cost?

Prices for a dog sitter in France and other countries can vary from around €15 per night to €50 per night.

The price of dog sitting at home can vary depending on where you live and what services are offered. For example, keeping a puppy or an older dog can cost a little more than keeping an adult, calm dog. Indeed, taking a puppy or older dog into custody involves more responsibility and working for a pet sitter. Prices in France can vary from around €15 per night to €50 per night. Each additional dog can cost between €10 and €30 per night.

How do I find a sitter near me?

The best way to find a sitter near you is to enter your address into Pawshake’s search engine. This will display available pet sitters near you to look after your pet. You can take a look at a few profiles and message one or two pet sitters who have a profile you like. Arrange a face-to-face meeting with your pet sitter and dog and, if all goes well, return to the site and confirm your reservation.

8 important topics to discuss before dog sitting at home

You must meet with the caretaker to discuss their services before confirming a reservation. When you meet your pet sitter, be sure to discuss the following topics:

1) Your dog’s usual behavior

Before arranging dog sitting, you should inform the sitter about your dog’s character traits in detail. Discuss the following points:

  • Is your dog full of life and energy, or a little older and calm?
  • What toys does he like?
  • How does he behave around children, other dogs, or cats?
  • Does your dog behave well on a leash?
  • Is your dog independent or a bit shy?
  • Does he like it because of wrinkles?
  • In what situations does he bark?
  • Does he like hugs, or not so much?
  • Is your dog begging for food or rummaging through the trash can if you’re not looking?
  • Does he sometimes chew on your things?

2) What is a “normal” day for your dog?

Tell the sitter what your dog’s routine is. Thanks to this, your sitter will be able to stick to your dog’s routine as closely as possible during the stay.

  • How often do you go for a walk, where and at what time?
  • When is your dog usually fed, what food does he get and how much?
  • Does your dog need daily medication and how to administer it?
  • When does your dog sleep and when is he active?
  • Where does he sleep at night?

Can he be left alone at home and for how long?

3) What is a “normal” day for your pet sitter?

Ask your pet sitter what their plans are during the booking period and find out about the sitter’s environment.

Are there activities scheduled during the day and how can your dog fit into that schedule?

Will your dog have to be alone sometimes in the caretaker’s house? For how long, and are you comfortable with it?

Ask to see where your dog will be staying so you can assess the environment and whether it might be suitable for your pet.

Where will your dog be allowed to go and can he choose his place to sleep?

Who else lives in the home and who will come into contact with your dog?

Does the sitter have other pets, children, or roommates? Your dog must meet him first.

Even if your dog is quite “easy”, being in an unfamiliar environment can be stressful. So make sure that your dog will receive enough attention during the stay.

4) Discuss the pet sitter experience

  • Ask the caretaker what experience he has with dogs.
  • How many years of experience does he have?
  • Do they have experience in housing large dogs, small dogs, or different breeds?
  • Does he often take care of pets?
  • What does he know about dog body language?
  • What would he do if your dog was stressed or scared?
  • Ask questions, the more you know about the sitter, the more reassured you will be when you have to go and leave your pet.


5) Discuss the rules to follow while on call

It’s important to discuss boundaries and rules so your sitter can be consistent with your dog and adopt the right attitude.

Say what commands your dog knows and let them practice. Reward your dog with a treat or praise if it works. Talk about the rules your dog knows at home and also the rules the sitter wants your dog to follow at home. Maybe your dog is allowed on the couch in your house, but not in the caretakers.

Dogs can handle different rules very well in different places, but they need time to learn the new set of rules. A guardian should never punish a dog if he does not immediately comply with his requests. Instead, show the dog what is expected by rewarding good behavior.

6) Discus rides with your sitter

Be sure to carefully discuss the details of the walks if you want the caretaker to walk him during the stay.

In particular, be aware that your dog may behave unpredictably when out walking with the sitter. We suggest that the sitter not take an unfamiliar dog off-leash. A responsible guardian will make the safety of the dog his priority and will only leave a dog off-leash in a fenced park. Talk to your sitter about your dog’s habits when he’s outside, what he likes, and what scares him.

7) Have an emergency plan

It is essential to have a plan b if the reservation does not work out. Indeed, ANY dog can exhibit unexpected behavior when it is in an unknown situation. He may show fear or stress, or show signs of anxiety.  He may also behave differently towards children and other dogs or even try to run away.

It is therefore important to ask the goalkeeper how he would handle the situation – and of course, what you expect of him if any. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises, why not book a test night with the caretaker? And finally, leave contact information for an emergency person (like a friend or family member) just in case.

8) Logistics 

Discuss practical matters such as dog pick-up and drop-off, provide the caretaker with your vet’s contact details and dog vaccination details (and of course, make sure your dog is microchipped and registered beforehand). Set clear expectations for how often you want your sitter to message you. At Pawshake, dog sitters are expected to message and photos daily to keep you up to date.

9) Trust your instincts

You have to feel good with the goalkeeper. As a caretaker, it is important to have an honest and positive relationship with the owner. Be curious and open with each other. Why not print this article and take it to the meeting? This way, you can check off everything you need to chat, and relax knowing your dog will have a great time with its sitter.

What do you think?

Written by Amma

Can you socialize an older dog?

Can you socialize an older dog?

14 Puppy Training Questions

Puppy Training FAQ: Answers to 14 Puppy Training Questions