5 things to do before the pet sitter arrives

dog-on-sofa2Preparing to leave our pet in the care of a sitter requires some careful planning and consideration for every eventuality.

Thanks to our friends at Petplan, this post covers some of the things you need to think about before you leave to make sure you, your pet and the pet sitter can rest easy.

You’re going on holiday, and as much as you might like to pack Fido into your luggage and take him with you, it’s simply not an option. So you’ve arranged for a pet sitter to come over to your home and make sure your furry friend is well taken care of and hopefully he won’t even notice you’re gone. To make sure everything goes off without a hitch and that the pet sitter is in the best position to look after your pet, here are five essentials to keep in mind before they arrive.

Write down your pet’s routine

Your pet sitter might be an expert at looking after animals, but he or she cannot read your mind and does not know what routines your pet is used to. Write down your pet’s routine and pass it on to your pet sitter, so he or she can ensure Fido does not get thrown off by a change in habit. Include your pet’s walking and feeding schedule, as well as any quirks your pet might have.

Ensure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and treatments

The last thing you want is for your pet to experience a medical emergency when you are away. In the days and weeks before your departure, look up your pet’s medical records and ensure he is up to date with all vaccinations and treatments before he is handed over to the pet sitter. You also want to ensure that all topical treatments for fleas, ticks and so on have been administered.

Make sure there are sufficient supplies on hand for your pet sitter

You definitely do not want your pet running out of supplies such as food, treats or supplements. But you can’t really expect your sitter to run out and buy an extra bag of dog food or vitamins while you are away. Before handing over your pet, stock up on supplies and make sure your pet sitter knows how and where to access them. To avoid any misunderstandings, it is a good idea to take stock of everything in your cupboard so you know exactly how much of each supply you have.

Have an emergency contact ready

Your pet sitter is human, and there is the chance he or she will not be able to look after your pet or have to leave on short notice due an illness, a family emergency or some other unexpected event. Have an emergency contact on hand, preferably a friend or family member, who can step in to look after your pet or help to arrange for another pet sitter; just in case.

Ensure all veterinary care is in place

Just in case your pet falls ill while you are away, you will want to brief your vet and the sitter on exactly what needs to be done in your absence. Have a chat with your vet before you leave and discuss treatment options for various conditions so your pet sitter knows what to do in every possible circumstance. Your pet sitter should have your vet’s contact details and a protocol to follow should an emergency arise. It is equally important if you have your pet insured to make sure your pet insurance policy is paid up to day for the entire duration of your trip, so you are not forced to make difficult decisions regarding your pet’s care while you are away.

While a pet sitter will take care of most things pertaining to your pet in your absence, it is important that you make all the necessary preparations in order to let him or her do the best possible job. This will ensure a comfortable and happy stay for both your pet and sitter, as well as a worry-free vacation for yourself.

Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson works on the marketing team and blogs for Petplan. Anna is herself a pet lover and is Mum to a gorgeous West Highland Terrier named Harvey The Dog, and two tiny humans. Anna enjoys sharing her thoughts and experience around pets with others.