Friday, August 21, 2009

How can you Help Your Pet Sitter? Heres A Pet Owner To-Do List & Responsibilites

Now that you have hired the right pet sitter to tend to your furry companion while you are away. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure your pet sitter can adequately perform their duties to keep your home & pet safe. So, to help we have compiled a to-do list.

1. Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
2. Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
3. Place current identification tags on your pet's collar.
4. Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
5. Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
6. Leave everything needed for the care of your pet in one, visible area so the sitter doesn't have to search for leashes, food cans, toys, medicine & vaccination records.
7. Buy extra pet supplies in case you're away longer than planned.
8. Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your pet sitter each other's phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
9. Notify neighbors that a pet sitter will be visiting your house while you are away so they don't worry when a strange person shows up at your house.
10. Show the pet sitter your home's important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.
11. Buy extra food and litter to keep on hand in case you are gone longer than planned.
12. Clean up dirty dishes before you leave and remove food from the kitchen which may spoil.
13. Put away items or chemicals harmful to pets.
14. Adjust the thermostat to keep the house comfortable (heat or air conditioning) for your pets during your absence.
15. Lock outside gates, swimming pool area, doors & windows.
16. Make sure your pet is safely inside before you leave. Its amazing how many owners forget when they are in a hurry to get on the road or to the airport.
17. Leave Emergency number list on fridge. The list should include your whereabouts, vet's, plumbers, electricians, pool maintenance, friends & family to contact.
18. Leave a detailed list of your pets daily routine, diet, medications, hide & seek areas and rooms that off limits for your pet to roam free.
19. Remember to inform your pet sitter ASAP if there are any changes in your travel plans.
20. Leave a most recent photo your pet just in case your dog or cat tries to become an escape artist and succeeds. Shop for eco-friendly, all natural & organic goodies for your new furry family member.


Therese said...

Great tips. Thanks for putting this list together for traveling pet owners!

I'd like to add though that while it's an excellent idea to have contact info on the fridge, make sure your pet sitter has it beforehand. If, for some reason, they can't get in your house, having it on the fridge won't do them any good.

And, be sure to call your sitter right before you leave to verify they'll be there as planned.

rikkicat said...

Another thing you might want to consider is having jpg images of your pets available where petsitter can get to them. The physical photo is great, but what happens if it gets lost?

Digital photos of your pets can put them on a CD, or you can put them up on photo sharing sites like Flickr. (If you use a photo sharing service that requires you to invite others to view your photos, be sure your petsitter can get to the photos BEFORE you go).

This way, should your pet get lost, your petsitter can immediately send an email with photo attachment to your local rescue groups, and/or use the jpgs to print up posters.