Most pet owners’ biggest struggle is leaving home and not bringing their furry friends. Although you wish you could always take your dogs along, sometimes that’s impossible.
When that happens, you need to ensure 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 for your pup by providing care and attention in your absence.
However, to go as smoothly as possible, you must 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 severe. It won’t take much 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, use this 10-step pet sitting checklist.
1. Information about your pet
- 1. Information about your pet
- 2. A list of your dog’s conditions and medications
- 3. Emergency information
- 4. Important contact information
- 5. Precise information about your itinerary
- 6. Access to all necessary supplies
- 7. Keys to a fully-prepared home
- 8. A list of house rules
- 9. An authorization letter or a credit card
- 10. Information about visitors
- Use a dog sitter checklist
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, whether they get along with the neighbor dog, 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, ensure the sitter knows what to do, how, 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, emergency vet stations, and all essential emergency contacts. Provide phone numbers and addresses.
In case anything unexpected happens, you wouldn’t want them to be wasting valuable time looking for those things.
It’s better for your pet sitter to have this information in case of an emergency.
4. Important contact information
Your pet sitter needs to be able to reach you, and not just you. It’s not enough to just provide your cell phone number. You need to make sure there is a backup person or secondary contact they can call 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
To ensure there’s no confusion, write down the dates.
If anything unexpected happens and you need to delay your return, notify the sitter as soon as possible.
6. Access to all necessary supplies
Ensuring you have enough supplies for your pet is essential, and ensuring the sitter knows where to find everything they need is just as necessary.
Ensure 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.
Ensure you take all potentially dangerous chemicals out of your dog’s reach. That 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
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 pet sitter should know what your pet is and isn’t allowed to do around the house. You wouldn’t want to return home to a pet that has lost all the discipline you’ve ever taught him.
If 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 pretty expensive.
Leave a credit card for emergencies and a signed letter stating you allow this person to use it.
10. Information about visitors
Write down a list of names and dates of anyone visiting your home while you’re away. For example, if you use a dog walking service, let your sitter know when the dog walkers will be there.
Or, if your pet sitter provides that service, be sure to change your walker’s schedule.
Your mom may come to check the house, or it may be the pool cleaner, the gardener or the pooper scooper.
Don’t let unexpected guests stress out the pet sitter.
Use a dog sitter checklist
A little preparation will mean a lot to make everyone feel better and more at ease: your dog, the pet sitter, and yourself.
Use a dog sitter checklist the next time you leave your pet with a sitter to ensure everything goes smoothly.