As a pet owner, finding a great pet sitter is essential when planning for a business trip or holiday vacation. A professional pet sitter will provide loving, quality care for your pets and home when you can’t be there. And while you may have already found the right person to take care of your furry friend, there are still a few things you should do to prepare for them to ensure that things go smoothly while you’re away.
1. Provide detailed instructions and contact information
When it comes to caring for your pets, no detail is too small. Ensure that your pet sitter has all the information they need about your pets’ feeding schedule, medication needs, and any medical conditions they may have. Also be sure to tell your pet sittter all about your pets’ personalities, likes and dislikes, and favorite toys or activities.
In case of an emergency, make sure your pet sitter has access to all relevant contact information such as your phone number and email address, your veterinarian’s phone number and address, an alternate contact person in case they cannot reach you, and any other pertinent information.
If you’ve used a pet sitter in the past, make sure they have your current contact information, and that the care and feeding instructions for your pets are up to date. If your sitter uses an online system, check and update your profile as necessary before every trip.
2. Leave plenty of supplies
Calculate how much food, medications, litter, etc. your pets will need for the number of days you’ll be gone and leave a little extra just in case. That way if for any reason you don’t make it home on time, your pet sitter will have everything your pets need, and when you do return you don’t have to run to the store right away to restock.
Pets sometimes have accidents and make messes, so also make sure to leave cleaning supplies, like rug cleaner or pet stain and odor removing spray, and paper towels. For dogs, also make sure to leave your pet sitter a towel or two to dry them off in case they have to go out in the rain.
3. Make it easy for your pet sitter to find everything they need
Try and put all your pet care supplies in places where your pet sitter can easily find it. For example, place pet food and treats near your pets’ food bowls, the cat litter scoop and extra litter near the litter box, and your dog’s leash and harness by the door. For cats, leave a carrier near the other supplies so your pet sitter doesn’t have to hunt for it if your cat needs to be taken to the vet in an emergency. You can also leave a list of where all the pet care supplies are located in your pet care instructions.
4. Be prepared in case of emergency
Notify your vet that a pet sitter will be caring for your pets. Think about how you would like your pet sitter to handle an emergency medical situation if you cannot be reached, particularly if your pet is elderly or has a medical condition. Emergency vet bills can be quite high, so give your pet sitter an emergency release stating how you’d like your pet cared for in an emergency and how much you are willing to spend.
5. Pet proof your home
Close doors or use baby gates to block off any areas of your home you don’t want your pets having access to. Pick up and put away anything hazardous or dangerous or that you wouldn’t want your pets getting into. Close toilet lids. If you have a young puppy, it may be best to crate them when no one is there to keep them from getting into or chewing things they’re not supposed to. If your pet sitter will be taking your dog into your backyard, make sure all gates are shut tight.
6. Notify your pet sitter about visitors
It’s best if your pet sitter is the only one entering your home while you’re away, but if you have a friend or relative coming to check on your pets or a house cleaner, repair person, or landscaper coming to do work while you’re gone, make sure your pet sitter knows who they are, when they’ll be there, and how to contact them if there’s a problem.
7. Secure your home
Make sure all windows and outside doors are shut and locked. Ask your pet sitter to bring in the mail and newspaper and set your lights on timers or have your sitter alternate them to make your home appear occupied.
Have a great trip, knowing your pets and home are in good hands!
Leaving your pets at home while you travel can be nerve-wracking, but if you’ve found the right pet sitter and taken the time to prepare for them, there’s no need to worry! You can relax and enjoy your trip knowing that your pets are happy and well-cared for by your pet sitter.
If you’re in need of top-quality pet sitting services in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, or DC, give Ready Pet Go a call at 240-221-5335 or send us a message. Our goal is to provide the best care for your best friends when you can’t be there. Your pets are family to us!