The time has come when you’re getting ready to put your snacks in the car for a long drive or getting your luggage ready for your flight for that much-needed vacation when you wonder to yourself, “Does my home have everything my pet sitter needs?” Whether you have a friend stop by twice a day to walk your dog or you’ve hired a professional cat sitter to look after your pet while you’re away, there are several important things you should do in advance for your pet sitter. After all, they’re looking after your pet. The least you can do is make sure they have all the tools they need, like a handy pet grooming brush and enough doggy poop bags for them so they can give your furry friend the best care ever. Let’s get started with these six ways to prepare your home for a pet sitter.
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- Book a Pet Sitter You Trust — First, you want to make sure you’re using a pet sitter you can trust. Use a trusted site like Rover to find trusted and verified sitters. You can read reviews from other pet parents. Ask your friends for recommendations if they know any pet sitters. Otherwise, if you have a friend or family member who is willing and able to look after your furry friend, have them look after your pet.
- Socialize Your Pet — Your pet may be antsy if you’re leaving them in the hands of a stranger. Even if you’re leaving them with a trusted friend or family member, your pet may still feel anxious even if they’re someone they know and trust because it’s not part of their everyday routine. To help get the jitters out a day or two before you leave, socialize your pet. Maybe you’ll have your pet meet with the pet sitter in advance or have your dog run around the dog park to get out any excess energy.
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- Make a Pet Bio — Just like every person is unique and has their quirks, so does your pet. If you’ve ever put together your 150-word professional elevator pitch or your dating bio on Tinder, you can put together a fun and easy-to-read pet bio for Fido. Inform your pet sitter in this bio if your pet has any interesting quirks or anything your pet really likes. Does your pet love snuggling on the couch, or are they not allowed on the couch? Do they like it when you run your hands through their fur, or would they rather be groomed with a portable pet hair remover brush? Share what makes your pet unique in a concise pet bio to better prepare your pet sitter.
- Clearly Label Your Pet’s Belongings — Walk into your home like it’s the first time you’ve ever walked into it. If you were a stranger and you needed to find the dog’s leash to walk them or the cat’s pet hair removal tool to groom them so they don’t get hairballs, where would these things be? Clearly label and organize your pet’s belongings by labeling and writing down instructions on where to find the food, medicine, grooming tools, toys and other necessities and knickknacks.
- Write Down a List of To-Dos — You may text your pet sitter in a rush of some basic things they should do for your pet, but it may also be helpful to actually give your pet sitter a written hard copy list of things they should do once they’re actually pet sitting in your home. That list should include any details on your pet’s schedule or routine. Inform your pet sitter of any medication dosages your pet should get and how often your pet should be fed. Do you anticipate your fur baby will get cranky if they aren’t groomed every other day with their favorite Uproot Cleaner Pro™? Your pet sitter can use that same brush to remove any pet hair from their clothing, too, so they don’t walk out of your home with Fido’s hair all over them. If your dog needs to be walked a certain amount of times each day, or if your cat likes having their litter box cleaned every time, make sure you write these things down for your pet sitter.
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- Leave Emergency Contact Information — Finally, make sure you leave your emergency contact information. In addition to your number and anyone you might be traveling with, also give them the phone number of someone they can reach who isn’t traveling with you in the event of an emergency. If you’re traveling abroad with your partner and your pet sitter needs an extra pair of hands, it will be a good idea to give them a number of a friend or family member they can call if they can’t reach you.
According to the American Kennel Club, when you prep your home for your pet sitter, not only are you helping your pet get the best care, but you’re also helping your pet sitter feel more comfortable and appreciated. While leaving your pet in someone else’s care can be stressful for both of you, following these easy tips for preparing your home will help reduce any stress for you, your pet sitter and your fur baby.