Leaving your pet in the care of a sitter can be a potentially stressful experience, but with proper preparation, you can ensure a smooth and (slightly) anxiety-free experience for both you and your furry family member.
Whether you're going on vacation or a business trip or need someone to look after your pets while you're away, preparing your home and communicating effectively with your pet sitter is essential. Here are ten important things to do before a pet sitter stays in your home.
Choose the Right Pet Sitter
Arrange a meeting to ensure compatibility before entrusting your pet to a sitter. This allows your pet to get to know the sitter and vice versa. At the initial meeting, discuss your pet's routine, habits, and any special needs that they have.
Provide Detailed Instructions
Once you've chosen a pet sitter, provide them with detailed instructions about your pets' daily routines, dietary needs, medication schedules, and any behavioral quirks. Leave emergency contact information for both you and your veterinarian, in case any issues arise. The more information you provide, the better your pet sitter can care for your pets.
Stock Up on Supplies
Ensure that you have enough pet food, treats, medications, and any other essentials to last the duration of your trip. Make a list of where everything is stored and provide it to the pet sitter. Having a well-stocked supply will prevent any last-minute runs to the pet store.
Prepare the Pet's Living Area
Clean your pet's living areas thoroughly before you leave. Empty litter boxes, clean cages, and make sure the pet's space is comfortable and safe. Leave cleaning supplies for the pet sitter to maintain cleanliness during your absence.
Create a Pet Profile
Prepare a detailed document that includes your pet's name, age, breed, and any relevant medical history. Include your contact information, the contact number of a backup person, and your vet's details.
Give a Home Tour
Walk the pet sitter through your home, showing them where to find essential items like food, cleaning supplies, and pet care products. Point out any areas that are off-limits to pets.
Provide a Spare Key
Give the sitter a spare key or a secure access method to your home. Ensure they know how to use any security systems or alarms.
Discuss potential emergencies with your pet sitter. Leave a list of emergency contacts, including neighbors, friends, and family members who can assist in case of unforeseen situations.
Plan a Test Run
Schedule a short trial period where the sitter cares for your pets while you're still at home. This helps your pets get used to the sitter's presence and routine.
Before the pet sitter arrives, perform a security check of your home. Ensure all doors and windows are locked, and alarm systems are activated if you have one. Inform your sitter about any security measures in place and provide them with a spare key or access instructions if needed.
Establish open lines of communication with your pet sitter. Exchange contact information and set expectations for regular updates on your pets' well-being. Provide your sitter with a daily checklist to help them keep track of pet-related tasks.
(Optional) Notify Your Neighbors
Let your neighbors know that you'll have a pet sitter staying at your house. Share the sitter's name and contact information with them to create a support network in case of emergencies.
Finding a reliable pet sitter and taking the time to prepare your home is crucial for the well-being of your furry family members when you're away. By following these ten steps, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free experience for both your pets and the pet sitter. With proper planning and clear communication, you can enjoy your time away knowing that your pets are in good hands.