Prepping Your Pet Sitter: What They Need To Know
Finally bought the plane ticket to that resort you’ve always dreamed of vacationing to? Or maybe you got called down to another state for a business trip. Whether you’re embarking on an excursion for a fun time or because you have responsibilities to fulfill, you’ll always have the duty of making sure your pet is taken care of while you’re away. It won’t always be possible to take your companion along with you on a trip, which means it’s up to you to find a trustworthy pet sitter to take your place. Once you’ve found a responsible person to watch over your pet, half the battle is already conquered! The other half is making sure your sitter knows all that they need to know and has all they need to care for your pet.
Before setting sail, make sure you leave your sitter with the following information:
While you’re gone, there’s no reason for why your pet shouldn’t follow the same rules they did with you. Giving your pet sitter a list of the house rules will ensure that your companion is obedient and that the house remains in the condition it’s in before you left. Make clear with your pet sitter what your pet is and is not allowed to do, like sleeping on the couch, getting treats whenever they want, going into the bedrooms, eating particular foods, etc.
Without you in the house, your pet will need to rely on someone to help them follow the same routine that they already have in place. Lay out a detailed routine of your pet’s day, including:
- Mealtime: How many times should they be fed a day? At what times? Exactly how much? Are treats allowed? If yes, when and how many?
- Walks & exercise: How long does your pet need to be walked for? At what time? Is there a specific trail, path, or location they need to follow? What other toys or forms of exercise might they enjoy during the day?
- Medicine: Do they require a particular medicine that needs to be administered at the same time everyday? How should it be given
By giving the exact time and date of when you are leaving and returning, the sitter will know when their duties begin and end. But of course you should clearly state how often they must come to the house, at what times, and which days. You can even choose to give a more detailed outline of what you will be doing throughout the trip so that your sitter knows what time is best to reach you.
For them to reach you, you’ll need to write down how you can be contacted. Other important contacts that can come in handy are your neighbors’ or a back up sitter that they can ask for help from if they are unable to watch over your pet.
Gather into one area or container all the supplies your sitter will need to care for your pet, or write down exactly where everything can be found in your house. Provide enough of each supply to last at least the duration of how long you will be away from your pet. For example, if you will be gone for two days, try to provide at least two days’ worth of each supply for your sitter. Provide extra if possible. Key supplies include:
- Food & Treats
- Grooming Supplies
- Pee Pads or Litter Supplies
- Poop Bags
- Cleaning Products (for pet accidents and the house)
Place in a folder all of your pets’ records. This would include your veterinarian’s contact information and location, your cat or dogs’ microchip number, immunization history, registration information, an up to date photo for emergencies, a pet insurance card, etc. In the event of any emergency or accident, your sitter needs to be prepared with every record that may be asked for or of help.Special Quirks
Asides from the basic needs of food, water, and exercise, each pet’s one-of-a-kind personality will bring about unique quirks or habits that your sitter will need to pay special attention to. For example, does your pet get anxious easily in the presence of a stranger? How do they behave when separated from you? Is there a certain part of the house that they spend most of their time in? Do they have an interesting habit that your sitter should know not to worry over? Is there a particular food that doesn’t settle well with them?
By being aware of your own pet’s habits, preferences, and needs, you can help make the experience for both your pet and their sitter a pleasant one. The sitter will be able to cater to your pet’s specific needs in a much more personal and effective way. Allow yourself to have peace of mind while you’re on the trip by communicating with your sitter everything that they need to know and use!