When you have found your ideal pet sitter, and come to an agreement about their responsibilities and terms of employment, it will be time to take care of your end of the deal. Though vacations, business trips and getaways are replete with details to attend to, it would be a mistake to neglect the important responsibilities at home.  Review the list of to-do’s below so you can help prepare for your pet sitter.

Helpful Tips on Preparing for Your Pet Sitter

  • Communicate clearly and early:  This is one of the most crucial elements of hiring someone to care for your beloved pet. Make sure you and your sitter have delineated not only the dates and times they are expected to be present, but the exact responsibilities you expect from him or her. Taking care of the expectations and boundaries early on will help open up communication, and will set precedence for a respectful relationship in the future with them.
  • Provide your pet a collar and ID:  If this has not been done already, ensure that your pet has ID tags around his neck, in case he should accidently escape or get lost during the course of your absence.
  • Provide clear instructions for the sitter:  Though you will have discussed all the details previously, adding a reminder list might prove helpful.  This can be taped to the fridge or to the counter, along with any emergency contact numbers (or poison control helpline) for the sitter’s convenient review.
  • Put all the pet food and supplies together in one easily accessible place:  This will keep the pet sitter from having any difficulty locating the brushes, blankets, shampoo, treats, toys or food your pet needs. (It will also remove any need to explore through your cabinets and drawers, if everything required is handy.)
  • Supply backup item:  If you know the face wipes are getting low or your kitty’s favorite treat bag is nearly empty, be sure to stock up on extra items so the sitter won’t run out to get more in the event that you have to stay away longer than planned. For animals who suffer from acute separation anxiety, it might be advisable to also stash a special toy for the sitter to keep on reserve to distract the pet.  Food-hiding toys and flavored chews can be a great mood-fixer for lonesome pups and kitties.
  • Leave a security key with your neighbor:  Unexpected misfortunes occur all the time in life, and wise pet owners have the good sense to plan ahead. In case your pet sitter loses your house key, give him or her the contact info for your neighbor who has the emergency copy.
  • See that the pet’s vaccinations are up to date:  To avoid any potential health issues or catastrophes while you are away, consider taking your pet in for a checkup before you depart. Make sure your dog or cat has received all current vaccinations, as well as any oral hygiene products or medications he or she might need.