The Ultimate Guide to Preparing your Pet Sitter

Category_Cat_Sitter Category_Dog_Sitting Category_Dog_Walking Writer_Rachel_Hardy

The Ultimate Guide To Preparing Your Pet Sitter - Sparky Steps Chicago Pet Sitters - Article

The Ultimate Guide to Preparing your Pet Sitter 

Though we wish we could take our pets everywhere with us, most owners know that it’s just not possible for our dogs to be a part of every trip. Leaving them behind to be cared for by a stranger can also be expensive, time consuming, and incredibly stressful for both you and your pet.  The good news is that with the advent of pet sitting services like Sparky Steps more and more pet owners are able to hire reasonably priced pet professionals to care for their four legged friends while they’re vacationing. If you’re planning a trip soon and are in the market for pet care, here’s our ultimate guide for preparing your pet sitter beforehand to make sure your pets are receiving all the care they need while you’re away.


Schedule meet and greets

Spark Steps always requires a meet and greet for any potential sitters with their new clients. That way you’re sure that you’re getting the best possible first. Have you sitter meet with, play with, or take your dog for a walk before you book their services. It’s also important that your dog or cat grow familiar with a new, friendly face prior to your vacation so they can feel safe, happy, and comfortable.


Provide your sitter with a personality profile

Tell your sitter as much as you can about your pet’s personality. Let them know of any strange quirks or behavioral issues they might encounter. Detail your pet’s favorite activities, toys, and treats as well.


Lay down any ground rules or routines

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit so be sure to outline your pet’s routine and schedule and try to stick with it as much as possible. Additionally, inform your sitter of the behaviors that are and are not acceptable for your pets. This includes things like whether your pet can have table scraps, if they’re allowed on beds or couches, and any other rules that your pets are required to follow. 


Show your sitter around the house

Give your new sitter a tour of your home. Show them where the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen are if they’ll be house sitting as well. If they’ll just be pet sitting or walking your dog, show them where you keep all your pet’s supplies. Show them how to operate any thermostats, alarms, or other electronic systems they might need to use. Point out where you keep the food, leashes, spare collars, medications, and any other supplies got use on a daily basis. If you’d like, you can also draw a detailed map for them. 


Provide them with a contact list

Provide your sitter with a list of all important names and phone numbers while you’re away, including your own. That way they can reach out with any questions or problems. Include numbers for friends, family members, or neighbors. You’ll also want to jot down the number for pet poison control, your local vet, and the nearest emergency vet. 


Discuss what to do in case of an emergency

It’s always good to stock up on any food, medications, or other necessary items for your dog before you leave, but accidents can happen. In that case, you’ll want to discuss with your sitter what your expectations are if he or she would run while you’re still away. Leave cash, a prepaid card, or a check if you’re comfortable. Additionally, discuss expectations in case of an emergency. Give your sitter the name and number of the veterinary they should call and who, if anyone else, they should contact. Finally, be clear about what you would like them to do if the very worst would happen. Does your sitter have permission to take your pet to be euthanized? While these are tough questions to answer, if your sitter knows what steps to take they just might be able to save your pet’s life.


Show them where you keep the cleaning supplies

Accidents happen and if your pet is stressed or anxious it’s likely that they’ll leave a mess for your sitter. To ensure that messes are cleaned, show your pet sitter where you keep your cleaning supplies, which supplies you prefer that they use, and how to lock them up to keep your pet from getting into any potentially toxic chemicals. 


Leave detailed instructions

In order to make sure your pet is getting the best possible care, leave a typed or printed sheet of detailed instructions for every aspect of your pet’s care. This is especially important for the administration of medications. Your sitter can then refer to this sheet at any time. 


Prepare the house for your sitter

To keep your pets and your sitter safe, secure any potentially hazardous plants, chemicals, cleaning supplies, or electrical wires and replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To make sure your pet feels comfortable, leave out his favorite toys, blankets, beds, as well as a sweater or shirt that smells like you to comfort them when you’re gone. 

Are you eager for more pet sitting tips? Have a pet question you aren’t sure how to answer? Check out our blog for more pet friendly resources and information!


Written by Rachel Hardy



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