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When Using a Pet Sitter, Preparation is Key.

You can help your professional pet sitter provide the best possible care for your beloved pets while you are away. Be prepared with all the information your pet sitter needs and gather needed information in advance so you won't overlook any important details.

 

Keep these reminders in mind when preparing for your pet sitter's visit:

 

  • Schedules are important! Make your reservations for a pet sitter as far in advance as possible and remember to call the sitter if you are coming home later or earlier than expected. This will allow the pet sitter to plan for extra visits or serve additional clients.
  • Have everything necessary to care for your pet in one general and visible area. This includes food, treats, utensils, food and water bowls, medications, leash, can opener, toys, paper towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, litter and scoop, broom and dustpan and/or vacuum cleaner, towels (for rainy walks), newspapers (if paper training), watering can for plants, etc.
  • Leave extra supplies, just in case. Provide extra food, litter and supplies just in case you are not able to return when anticipated.
  • Be sure to leave plastic bags for sanitary disposal of feces. Pet sitters are happy to perform this task while you’re away, but shouldn’t be expected to clean up accumulation prior to your absence!
  • Clean out the refrigerator before leaving. This will help avoid smelly food spoilage, and wash any dishes in the sink to prevent ants or other pests.
  • For the comfort of your pet, adjust your thermostat before leaving on your trip and advise your pet sitter within what range to keep it. A closed-up home can get uncomfortably hot in a short time.
  • Tell the pet sitter if bathrooms or any other household areas are off limits to your pet and/or sitter. Secure access to these areas before leaving home. Also, make the pet sitter aware if your cat happens to love shredding the contents of the bathroom trashcan or if the toilet is prone to run or become clogged.
  • If you’re leaving anything specifically for your pet sitter; e.g., homegrown tomatoes on the counter, Peanut M & M candies, a monetary tip, be sure to leave a note. Otherwise, most pet sitters are so honest and trustworthy you may arrive home to find rotting tomatoes!
  • Will other people be checking on your pet? If so, help avoid confusion by making it clear what the pet sitter is responsible for and what other visitors will be entrusted to do.
  • Notify your veterinarian in writing that a pet sitter will be caring for your pet. You will want to authorize the vet to extend medical care during your absence if it becomes necessary.