Angie's List: Hiring a pet sitter

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - For Peter and Erin Rusthoven, hiring a pet sitter to come into their home and check on their three dogs daily gives them peace of mind that their pets are being well-cared for while they are away.

"In addition to her obviously caring for the dogs, she's also checking the house, bringing in our mail, watering plants, those types of things," Peter Rusthoven said.

In a recent Angie's List poll 80 percent of the respondents have pets in their family and it can be a big decision who is going to care for your pet when you are traveling.

The nice thing about a pet sitter is that your pet gets to stay in their own environment. Also, you get someone who is checking in on your house for security reasons and in case something goes wrong like a busted pipe.

"The client had just had a kitchen remodel done and had a built-in ice maker put into the island. The ice maker developed a leak inside the cabinetry of the island so it wasn't noticeable in the kitchen itself, but a drip began through the ceiling of the floor beneath them, and we caught that fairly quickly so the damage was limited."

"But had we not been there, it would have caused a lot of damage as it was an expensive repair already, but it took out a lot of the ceiling below and the structure was starting to get wet and mold in just the 24 hours between our visits," pet sitter, Becki Bradford explained of a emergency she faced.

Most professional sitters charge between $15 and $50 per visit, depending on the distance traveled, length of the visit, and duties required.

Visits can range from as little as 20 or 30 minutes to staying in the house overnight.

"When hiring a pet sitter, first and foremost you want to know how they get along with your pet. Have them over to your home. Watch them interact with your pet and see how they do. Also, because they are going to be in your home and you're trusting your pet with them, you want to make sure they are reputable so be sure you are interviewing the person that is going to be taking care of your pet and also be sure they are insured and bonded," Angie Hicks of Angie's List said.