We know you’d take your pup everywhere if you could. You could easily picture your dog chilling in the office with you or working up a sweat on the treadmill as your gym partner…
However, sometimes the pups get left behind. If you’re planning a vacation anytime soon and can’t take Fido along, you’ll want to make sure you’re leaving your pet sitter with everything they could possibly need to care for your four-legged family member.
As an animal lover (and definitely a sucker) I end up watching my friends’ dogs for them a lot. I actually enjoy it1 I need a dog-fix every now and then, since I can’t have one in my apartment. I have also run into issues, when I wasn’t armed with all the information I needed. Like how could I know that my pal Clyde would counter-surf to eat his leash? Or, that time I ran out of dog food while watching three large (and hungry) pups, and after trying three different pet stores, found out that the owners buy their food from a trainer. Or later, when I couldn’t get those previously mentioned, three (normally insatiable) dogs to eat their breakfast.
Every morning for a week, I had to pull up a chair to their bowls and sit and wait. Why wouldn’t they eat?! When I called my friend, her response was, “Oh yeah, we put a little bit of whipped cream on their breakfast.” All the wasted time and worry, and these spoiled pups were just waiting on me to give them whipped cream!
In hope you don’t run into the same pawblems, I’ve compiled this pet sitter checklist. Hopefully it will prevent you from coming home to eaten leashes, whipped cream craving canines, or 10 bags of trash because your sitter didn’t know what day to take it to the curb.
• Time and date of departure and arrival
An itinerary is also helpful, so your pet sitter knows the best times to get in touch with you.
• Cell phone number, hotel information and room number
• Neighbor’s info
This comes in handy if your dog decides to lock the human out and laugh.
• Friend of family member’s information
If there’s something your pet sitter needs and they can’t reach you, then this is the next best thing.
• Security code
• Vet info
• Emergency plans
• Trash/recycling pick up days
• Feeding and walking schedule
• List of medications and instructions for use
Even if your dog doesn’t take daily meds, think about all that could happen. Is there something you give if the dog gets sneezy or a bellyache? Do you give allergy meds in a spoonful of peanut butter?
• Specific brand name for food and treats
You don’t want your dog to just eat anything if the food runs out.
• Pet store you frequent
Just in case the pet sitter needs to pick something up.
• List of where leash, food, brush, etc., is stored
• Favorite toys
• List of unfriendly dogs or people along walk route
Accidents happen, but maybe they can be better avoided by having the dog sitter stick to walking on a particular side of the street.
• Anything off limits?
If your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, make sure your pet sitter knows.
• Thermostat instructions
• Emergency spare key
Find a good hiding spot to store an extra key just in case.
Leave a list of days and times anyone comes to the home, such as a housecleaner, gardener, or pool cleaner. An unexpected guest can cause quite the fright for a housesitter.
• List of toxic foods to pets
• Tv/remote instructions
• Doggy hobbies
Your pet sitter should know what the dog’s normal behavior is. For example, does your pup drink out of the toilet? Tell your pet sitter so he or she knows to leave the seat down. Does Fido want scratches on the butt? Is the tennis ball better than the Frisbee? All helpful to know.
• Are you expecting a BarkBox while you’re away? Let your pet sitter know so your dog can enjoy all the parent-less fun.