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The Best Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters

What to look for in a pet sitter or walker and our picks for DC’s best

This article is from 2006's Pet Guide package. The information may be out-of-date, so please call locations listed for new information.

To see the new Pet Guide from 2008, click here.

Before giving a pet sitter your house keys, you should conduct an initial consultation in your home. Pet Sitters International says that a pet sitter should appear comfortable with the animals and want to learn as much as possible about their care.

In addition to fee information, a pet sitter should provide you with a plan in case of illness or inclement weather and give you a report upon your return. If the person works for a pet-sitting company, make sure the company is insured, and ask about its hiring and screening process. If it's an independent sitter, be sure to check references.

All Friends Pet Care, Herndon; 703-716-7387; allfriendspetcare.com. Midday walks and pet sitting in Northern Virginia.

Allison's Pampered Pets, 703-471-0453; allisonspamperedpets.com. Walks and pet sitting in Reston and parts of Great Falls, Herndon, and Vienna; particular experience with cats.

Alternative Pet Care, 5268 Lyngate Ct., Burke; 703-323-0772; alternativepetcare.com. Overnight pet sitting in your home or a sitter's home.

Animal Nannies of McLean, 703-749-9000; animalnannies.net. Midday dog walks and pet sitting for all types of pets in McLean, Vienna, West Falls Church, North Arlington, and Great Falls.

Best Kept Pets, 703-729-3575. Midday walks and vacation visits in Ashburn and Sterling.

Capital Petsitters, 202-386-7387, 703-442-0403; capitalpetsitters.com. Midday walks, vacation visits, and overnight sitting in Northwest DC, Capitol Hill, and close-in Virginia and Montgomery suburbs.

David's Dogwalking, 202-263-1192; davidsdogwalking.com. Midday walks, with sitting services for regular clients. Northwest DC.

Dog Paws 'n Cat Claws, 703-931-5057; dogpawsncatclaws.com. Midday dog walks and overnight pet sitting in Arlington and Northwest DC.

East Coast Pet Care, 571-239-6655; eastcoastpetcare.com. Erika Cook provides midday dog walks, and pet sitting (including overnight) for all domestic animals and horses.

Everything and the Dog, 703-587-4410; everythingandthedog.com. Midday walks, pet sitting, housesitting, and errands in Loudoun County.

Forest Glen Pet Solutions, 301-593-2445; forestglenpets.biz. Midday walks, pet sitting, housesitting, and boarding in southern Montgomery County.

Fur-Get Me Not Pet Care, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington; 703-933-1935; furgetmenot.com. Midday walks, pet and housesitting, and pet taxi in DC and Virginia plus daycare and boarding.

Gaithersburg Pet Sitting, 301-926-0222; gaithersburgpetsitting.com. Owner Rosary Bovello was named Pet Sitter of the Year in 2002 by Pet Sitters International. Serves Rockville to Germantown.

Pawfessional Pet Care, 888-215-7387; inhomepetcare.com. Midday walks, pet sitting, and overnight care for dogs and cats in Charles and southern Prince George's counties.

Peggie's Pet Services, Alexandria; 703-863-4209; peggiespets.com. Midday dog walks and overnight sitting for all types of pets in Alexandria.

Sit-a-Pet, 202-362-8900; 703-243-3311, 301-424-7100; sitapet.com. Founded in 1980, this large company serves most neighborhoods inside the Beltway.

Tails of the City, 202-261-6615; tailsofthecitydc.com. A network of dog walkers and pet sitters serving DC, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County.

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