A pet sitter will be responsible for the well-being of your pets, as well as the security of your home while you are away. Choose a professional. Here are some things to look for.

First, make sure your sitter is insured and bonded and belongs to a professional pet sitting organization. This may indicate the seriousness of the pet sitter in doing their job.

Professional Skills - What kind of skills does the pet sitter have; first aid, CPR, an animal care specialist (taken continuing education courses). Is the pet sitter keeping up with the new developments in the industry?

Learn to Trust your instincts - Just because someone is a pet sitter, don't assume that they love animals. First impressions are fairly good indicators of the type of pet sitter you may have.

Concern for your pet - Does the pet sitter greet your pet with enthusiasm or does she/he ignore your pet? Is the sitter more concerned with getting the key to your house and his money or is he asking about your pet's health, safety and habits to get better acquainted?

Does your pet sitter have pets at home? If the pet sitter seems to not like this line of questioning, be careful, as all good pet sitters enjoy talking about their pets.

Is your pet sitter willing to answer all your questions to the best of their knowledge? They should be able to answer your questions or point you to a source that could possibly help you.

Get referrals from a friend or local humane group - get veterinarian references and call them- Do your own research. Call Pet Sitters International or get on the web at petsit.com. There is no guarantee these pet sitters will work out, but it's a place to start.

If the pet sitter acts unprofessionally, for example, badmouthing others, be careful about hiring him/her.