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PSI Encourages Pet Parents to ‘Shop Local’ For Pet Care This Holiday Season

“With more pet-care options than ever before, it’s important for pet parents to understand what to look for when selecting a pet-care provider.”




(PRESS RELEASE) KING, NC — With Small Business Saturday approaching, Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, is reminding pet parents not to forget their local professional pet-sitting or dog-walking business when they shop local this holiday season.

“With more pet-care options than ever before, it’s important for pet parents to understand what to look for when selecting a pet-care provider,” said PSI President Beth Stultz-Hairston. “The peace of mind that comes from using the services of a local professional pet-sitting business that has strong community ties, professional and client references, and insurance coverage tailored for their business is priceless.”

The growing need for pet care has prompted many tech companies and venture capitalists to enter the industry in recent years to launch pet-care apps and similar platforms, and individuals have joined the gig economy to earn extra cash as an occasional pet sitter or dog walker.

Pet parents should not let click and select convenience of online sites overshadow the importance of due diligence when selecting a pet sitter, PSI advises.

“Knowing that a beloved pet can enjoy the stress-free environment of its own home during the holiday season can provide great peace of mind for pet owners,” said PSI Founder and CEO Patti Moran. “But remember, anyone can post a profile online advertising pet-sitting services, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring a legitimate, professional pet-sitting business to care for their pets.”

But pet parents should book as soon as possible. PSI’s recent survey of nearly 500 member businesses found that 44 percent of respondents said they began accepting holiday pet-sitting reservations at least six months in advance for the 2021 holiday season (mid-November through early January).


“Seeking out the services of a local professional pet-sitting business ensures you are supporting a business that is involved in local pet-related efforts and contributing to your local economy,” Stultz-Hairston added. “Many of these small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic but have persevered, adopting expanded sanitation practices and adding new pet-care services to meet clients’ unique needs during this time.”

PSI recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking their services. This is an opportunity for the pet owner to ask questions to properly vet the sitter, and it allows the pet sitter to assess the pet-care needs to ensure they are the best fit. In addition to inquiring about business credentials and training, pet parents should also ask about a company’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

To search for a professional pet sitter in your area and to download PSI’s free Pet-Sitter Interview Checklist, visit here. For more information about PSI, visit



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