Preparing for Your Pet Sitter

 

Once you’ve established a relationship with your petsitter, you can travel with more peace of mind. Some additional steps that are aligned to your risk tolerance will enable you to truly relax and enjoy the trip – knowing your companion animals are in good hands!

No matter what, be sure you complete these steps before you go: 

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THE BASICS

  1. Tell the pet sitter if bathrooms or any other household areas are off limits to your pet and/or sitter. Secure access to off-limits areas and let the pet sitter down that these areas are off limits before leaving home.

  2. Remove candy and nuts from coffee tables or locations where a pet can reach them. 

  3. Leave out chew toys and do a walk-through of your house to put away items that might get misconstrued as a chew toy.

  4. See that medications are locked up. The sound of pills rattling in a plastic bottle may entice a pet to chew the bottle open.

  5. Check to see that any hobby supplies; i.e., paints, glue, needles and thread, etc., have been placed away from an inquisitive pet’s reach.

  6. Make sure toilet lids are down.

  7. Adjust your thermostat for the comfort of the animal(s) before leaving on your trip and advise your pet sitter the range it should be kept in.

  8. Make sure doors and windows are securely locked before leaving. This should include garage doors, sliding glass doors and basement doors and windows. 

  9. Make sure any fences are secure and gates are locked.

  10. Use timers on interior lights and program them to turn on at dusk and off at bedtime. 

  11. Make sure your pet sitter is aware of anyone who may be on your premises or entering your home during the pet-sitting assignment.

  12. Advise gate security that a pet sitter will be visiting your home and authorize entry.

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EXTRA STEPS FOR TRUE PEACE OF MIND

  1. Provide written verification that your pet is up-to-date on its shots. Have your pet wear current identification and vaccination tags on its collar.

  2. Inform your neighbors of your absence and that you will be using a pet sitter.

  3. Talk to your sitter about emergency medical resources that are available in your area and what to do if the veterinarian cannot be reached. 

  4. Ask your sitter for an authorization to provide medical care form.  He or she should be able to produce a form for your signature which authorizes a veterinary care provider to provide services to your pet. Review the form with your sitter and sign it. 

  5. If outside doors have panes of glass near a push-button lock, consider installing motion-detector lights and a dead bolt lock as well.

Cathy Davis