Inviting a pet sitter into your home while you’re traveling is not only convenient, but it’s also conducive to your pet’s comfort as well. Having a pet sitter means you don’t have to board your dog in an unfamiliar location. Even so, it’s important to prepare your setting for your pet sitter so the individual will have everything he or she needs in order to care for your dog effectively. The following tips will help you ready your home so you can leave it behind while enjoying peace of mind on your travels.
Dog Proof Your Home
When preparing for a dog sitter, be sure to walk through your home to ensure that everything is in place and that areas or objects that are problematic for your dog are made off limits. Dog-proofing your house is essential so that the time with a dog sitter goes as smoothly as possible. Be sure that cabinetry is secured, closets are shut and medications or detergents are out of reach.
Schedule a Meeting
If your dog has never met the sitter before, it’s helpful to set up a visit so they can interact together. Your dog is apt to become nervous if a stranger shows up to take charge out of the blue. A meeting can help your dog and sitter become comfortable together. The meeting is also a good time to explain any special instructions or answer any questions your sitter may have about your pet or your home. You can also use this time to talk about your pet’s personality or and behaviors.
Go over Your Dog’s Normal Schedule
Dogs tend to do best when they’re able to adhere to their typical schedule. Let your pet sitter know when your dog generally goes for walks or plays in the backyard. Make sure your sitter knows when to feed your dog and how much to feed them. Don’t forget to go over special rules too. For instance, if your dog isn’t allowed on the furniture, make sure to let your sitter know.
Write Down Instructions
It’s helpful for your sitter to have written instructions about everything from setting your home’s alarm to administering any medications your dog may need. If possible, type out this information so that’s it’s easy to read and perfectly clear. Your sitter may also need instructions for other things like how to prepare your dog’s food, where you store food and toys and where you typically walk your dog.
Keep Dog Supplies Accessible
Before leaving, it’s helpful to leave any items your sitter might need to care for your pet in one convenient place. You can fill a bin with everything from your dog’s hair brush to its toys. Be sure that your dog can’t access this bin to munch its treats or eat its food.
Ideally, your pet sitter will never need to contact you or an emergency veterinarian, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that you leave contact information for yourself including your hotel and cell phone number. You should also leave contact information for your dog’s regular veterinarian as well as the nearest emergency vet. Make sure that your sitter knows where you keep your leash and pet carrier in case of an emergency.
When you’ve adequately prepared your home for your dog sitter, you can enjoy a more relaxing vacation or travel experience. Also, there’s a good chance your sitter and dog will become good friends as they get to know each other. By preparing your home, you can set the stage for the friendship to develop. You can also better ensure that your pet has everything it needs when you’re away.
Written contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor.