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Many professional pet sitters use pet sitting contracts, also called service agreements, to protect their business from any possible liability. However, these contracts can also be extremely important for pet owners. Whether you’re a pet parent or starting your own pet sitting service, we’ve got all the information you need to know about creating a legally binding pet sitting contract.
At A Glance: Best Online Pet Sitting Agreement Contracts
Why Is A Pet Sitting Contract So Important?
A comprehensive pet sitting service agreement enables pet owners and sitters to understand their responsibilities to one another and the pets being cared for. It’s a smart way to minimize any confusion or conflicts that may arise about payment, duration of care, specific services required, and more.
For Pet Owners
As a dog owner, a contract allows you to detail all of your expectations for your pup’s routine and emergency care. It also helps protect you from being overcharged for services. Ultimately, it can give you the peace of mind that your pet will get the care and attention he deserves while you’re away.
For Pet Sitters
As a pet sitter, a service agreement allows you to outline the types of services and care you’ll provide, how much you charge, when payment is due, your cancellation policy, etc. With a pet sitting contract and pet sitter liability insurance and bonding in place, you’re covering all your bases to protect yourself from any possible legal claims against you.
What To Include In A Dog Sitting Contract: The 5 Essentials
In addition to the basics, including each party’s name, address, and contact information, there are several items you want to be sure to include in a pet sitting contract. According to Pet Sitters International (PSI), a leading professional organization, and other experts, the following information is crucial for a contract.
1. Services Provided
One of the most important aspects of a contract detail the types and frequency of services for the care of the pet(s). This ensures that the sitter and owner are in agreement about exactly what’s expected. You’ll want to be sure to include:
- Dates and times services are needed, including any overnight stays.
- Basic job duties: feeding, walking, playtime, medications needed, grooming, etc.
- Any additional tasks, e.g., buying pet food, litterbox cleaning, trash removal, etc.
2. Rates, Payments & Any Additional Fees
Another crucial part of any pet sitting contract involves payment details. Your contract should clearly outline the amount of payment agreed upon by both parties for services rendered. It should also include any terms of payment, including whether a deposit is required, when full payment is due, a cancellation policy and associated fees, and forms of payment (cash, check).
3. Pet Profile
Every contract should contain information about each pet. This is particularly important for households with more than one pet to help the sitter keep track of any specific needs.
- Pet name
- Pet breed
- Health conditions
- Medication list
- Behavior issues
- Pet’s routine (feeding and potty times, treats given, crate time, special walking paths, etc.)
4. Illness & Emergency Care
If your pet becomes ill or has an accident during a sitter’s care, it’s important to include information in the contract about what to do in case of an emergency. Include emergency contact information for you while you’re away or for a trusted friend or family member. Experts also recommend including a vet authorization form that allows the pet sitter to seek vet care for the pet and details how payment for that care will be handled. Check with your regular veterinarian to see if they have an authorization form.
5. Home Rules
You may also want to outline in your contract any home rules the sitter should follow. This can include who’s allowed in your home while you’re away, off-limit areas of the house, home alarm settings, outdoor gates that need to remain closed, etc.
Best Online Pet Sitting Service Contract Templates
While you can find free pet sitter contract templates or examples online, many don’t include the legal language necessary to make your contract binding. They can be a good place to start, but to save you time and money in the long run, we recommend these reputable services that have legal lingo built into their templates.
LegalZoom Pet Sitting Agreement Template
LegalZoom makes the process of creating a pet sitting contract quick and easy. As you answer step-by-step questions, the website auto-fills your contract for you. It covers all of the legal lingo you’ll need, including your applicable state laws, in an easy-to-understand format. This template outlines all the necessary information we describe above in what a contract should include and more.
There’s even a section where you can fill in specific detailed information about each pet, including personality, favorite toys and games, hiding places, and much more. LegalZoom also has excellent customer service to answer any questions you have. It’s also one of your most cost-effective options if you plan on creating multiple contracts or legal documents throughout the year.
- $59 for one contract; $95.40 for an annual subscription with unlimited documents
Rocket Lawyer Pet Sitting Contract Template
Rocket Lawyer is another excellent source for creating a pet sitting contract. The step-by-step process and information included are very similar to LegalZoom. It’s easy to use and understand, state-specific and covers all your bases for a thorough pet service agreement. The advantage of Rocket Lawyer over LegalZoom is that you get your first contract free of charge. But if you’re planning on creating multiple contracts, it’s more expensive than LegalZoom.
- Free for one contract; $39.99 per month for a subscription with unlimited documents
US Legal Forms
US Legal Forms’ pet sitting contract template is more basic than LegalZoom’s and Rocket Lawyer’s. While it’s not loaded with as much legal lingo (making it easier to understand from a layperson’s perspective), it’s not nearly as customizable as our top two recommendations. Still, it may include everything you need. You can quickly see a preview of the contract template on the website to help you decide if it’s best for your situation.
- $39 per month or $96 annual subscription for unlimited documents
Do You Need To Find A Pet Sitter?
Finding a reliable pet sitter can be a daunting task. Talk to your friends and neighbors to see who they recommend in your area. And you may also want to check out our reviews of the best pet sitting services and best dog walking services to see if one of these online sitter marketplaces is worth considering. Are you interested in becoming a pet sitter? Read our dog sitting guide to get started.
Tagged With: Pet Sitting