Most pet owners’ biggest struggle is leaving home and not bringing your furry friend with you. Although you wish you could always take your dogs along, sometimes that’s impossible. When that happens, you need to make sure someone takes good care of them while you are gone.
Hiring a professional pet sitter is the best way to ensure your dog sticks to his routine and gets all the necessary care. Dog sitters know how to make the time apart from you less stressful to your pup by providing care and attention in your absence.
However, for things to go as smoothly as possible, you will need to make sure you leave the pet sitter with everything they need to take good care of your furry family member.
You’ve seen funny dog sitting instructions on the internet, but the real deal is quite serious. It won’t take you a lot of time, but creating a dog sitter checklist will give you peace of mind and help protect your dog’s well-being.
Before you pack the car and hit the road, check out this dog sitter checklist of ten things to give your sitter:
1. Information about your pet
The pet sitter needs to know every important detail about your dog, including his unique routines and characteristics. Inform them about the dog’s daily routines, how, when, and what they eat, their favorite games and toys, if they get along with the neighbor dog or not, etc. Every detail is essential if you want to make sure your dog gets the best care possible.
2. A list of your dog’s conditions and medications
If your pup has to go through treatment while you’re away, make sure the sitter knows what to do, how to do, and when to do it. You wouldn’t want to rely on your sitter’s memory, so it’s good to write everything down, including conditions, treatment, medications, or scheduled vet visits.
3. Emergency information
Give the sitter all necessary driving, metro, or bus directions to the local veterinarians and emergency vet stations and all essential contact information, including phones and addresses. In case anything unexpected happens, you wouldn’t want them to be wasting valuable time looking for those things.
4. Important contact information
Your pet sitter needs to be able to reach you, and not just you. You need to make sure there is a backup person they can contact if you’re unreachable. It is also imperative to leave the name and phone number of the hotel or apartment where you’ll stay. Mobile phones can act up at the worst possible moments, and it’s always good for the sitter to have another way to reach you.
5. Precise information about your itinerary
The pet sitter has their life schedule to organize, so it’s essential to give them precise information about your departure and return. To ensure there’s no confusion, write down the dates. In case anything unexpected happens and you need to delay your return, make sure you notify the sitter as soon as possible.
6. Access to all necessary supplies
Ensuring you have enough supplies for your pet is essential, and making sure the sitter knows where to find everything they need is just as necessary. Make sure the sitter can easily find the food, the toys, the leashes and harnesses, the ID tags, grooming and cleaning supplies, etc. If needed, write everything down for them, take a video of everything with instructions, and send it to their phones.
7. Keys to a fully-prepared home
The pet sitter’s only job is to take care of your pet, so handing them the keys to a clean, safe home is essential. Prepare your home for your absence and take care of all safety hazards. Make sure you take all potentially dangerous chemicals out of your dog’s reach. It may include cleaning products, rat poison, weed, insect killers, or anything else that may harm your pup. Repair any fence holes and secure all the gates before you leave.
8. A list of house rules
Just because you aren’t around doesn’t mean your dog gets to drink from the toilet, sleep in your bed, or chase the neighbor’s cat. The sitter should know what your pet is and isn’t allowed to do around the house. You wouldn’t want to get back home to a pet that has lost all the discipline you’ve ever taught him.
9. An authorization letter or a credit card
In case any emergency happens, and your dog needs to go to the vet, the sitter should be able to pay for the treatment — even if it’s quite expensive. Leave a credit card for emergencies and a signed letter stating you permit this person to use it.
10. Information about visitors
Write down a list of names and dates of anyone that comes to your home while you’re away. Your mom may come to check the house, or it may be the pool cleaner or the gardener. You wouldn’t want unexpected guests to stress out the sitter.
Use a dog sitter checklist
A little preparation will mean a lot when it comes to making everyone feel better and more at ease: your dog, the sitter, and yourself. Use a dog sitter checklist the next time you leave your pet with a sitter to ensure everything goes smoothly.