It’s summertime! Well, almost. And that means it will be travel season soon. A very busy time for pet sitters. Which means this is a good time to remind owners what to leave their pet sitter when they go away. Too many times I’ve experienced an owner not leaving enough or extras of something important for their pet. Here is a checklist of seven items to remember to leave for a pet sitter.
Write down all of the information about where you, the owner, will be. This includes cell phone numbers, phone number of the hotel or where you will be staying, email address, phone numbers of any family members if they can’t reach you, and emergency/vet info (name of vet, address, phone number.) Also, the name, address, and phone number of at least one neighbor. Always let at least one neighbor know that you will be going out of town and that a pet sitter will be visiting your home.
Make sure you leave enough food for the time you will be gone and extra food in case you are away longer than expected. You do not want to run out of food and have your pet sitter worry about getting more food on their own (which I have had to do a couple times). Also, note how much food your pet should get.
For cat owners, litter is one of those things that you always have to be aware of. It’s important, just like the food, to have a good supply handy. Maybe instead of the extra bag you usually keep, get 1 or 2 more bags, depending on the length of your trip. Again, just like the not enough food situation, I’ve had to purchase a bag while I was on a job. Just remember, food and litter — you can never have enough.
If your cat or dog takes medication, always remember to leave detailed, specific instructions on how to administer it and how often. If a medication needs to be refrigerated, always highlight that in your notes. Often times that can be forgotten in trying to remember everything that needs to be done. It always helps to have specific instructions written down in full detail. For me, I love notes. I would rather have a detailed list of everything the owner would like done than have nothing written down and be completely lost.
Leash and Harness
Okay, this is a biggie. Pay attention. If you have a dog or dogs and they use a leash and/or harness, keep them where the pet sitter can find them. No, I’m serious. This is very important. If I can’t find them, I’m not going to be happy. And then I’m going to worry which will make your dog(s) worry and that is very worrisome! There have been too many times when I can’t locate where the leash or the harness is or both. Is it near the crate? Near the front door? In the garage? Please leave them where the pet sitter can easily find them, because your dog(s) really want to go out, like now. One time I couldn’t find a dog’s harness so I had to call the owner. They said the dog had chewed through it and they hadn’t bought another one yet. This was one of those dogs that really needed a harness. Oh yes, also leave an extra harness and leash for each pet. Thank you!
Toys and Treats
I love toys and treats! Oh yes, pets love them too. Leave as many toys and treats that your pet likes. Remember to leave out your pet’s favorite toys. It is very soothing and comforts any anxiety the dog or cat might have. Treats are a great reward, especially for a dog when they’ve been good. Maybe buy an extra bag or two depending on how long you’ll be away.
Notes/Instructions About Your Home
As I said earlier, I love notes. The more notes the better. I would rather have more information than not enough. I do not want anything to be a guessing game. If you would like for me to bring in your newspaper, mail, water your plants, open/close curtains or take the trash out, just write it all down. I will do it. It’s part of my pet sitting job — a job that I love.