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2014 Families and PetsEditors' Choice

Best Pet Sitter and Dog Walker

Heidi Kistler, The Pawsitively Pampered Pet

If you’re looking for somebody to walk your dog or snuggle your cat while you’re at work, or take care of them when you’re gone, there are plenty of candidates offering their services. But before you hand over the keys to your home, you want to be sure the person you’re trusting with your worldly goods and your best friend’s welfare is kind and proactive—and has a good track record. Oakland resident Heidi Kistler launched The Pawsitively Pampered Pet in 1997; named Pet Sitter International’s Pet Sitter of the Year in 1999, she’s garnered a devoted fan base ever since among new and long-term clients, often becoming a lifelong caregiver for their pets. Heidi and her husband, Ryan, take the time to get to know your critters, their routines, likes, and dislikes, as well as any medical or other issues. If your job keeps you working long hours, and you’ve got a new puppy, they’ll help with that all-important socialization, as well as potty breaks. They’ll handle transport to groomers and vets. When you’re on the road, they’ll keep your house looking occupied as you request (e.g., bringing in the mail, turning on the lights) while they keep Rex and Kitty safe and content. On your return you’ll get a nice note about how everyone did while you were gone, but the best report comes from your pals, who, as many can attest, with be happy to see you, but pretty relaxed about it.

3536 Wisconsin St.