Help Your Pet Sitter Help You

Below are steps you can take to assist your pet sitter in doing their best to keep you home and pets safe and secure while you are away.

Inform Your Pet Sitter about:

  • your pet’s daily routine
  • your pet’s health problems and medications
  • your vet’s contact information (and any other emergency personel, like plumbers, electricians, pool maintainence, etc)
  • location of your pet’s favorite hiding places
  • location of your pet’s preferred chew toy
  • written verification of animal vaccines
  • phone numbers where you will be staying
  • changes to your plans, as soon as possible
  • any private rooms that are off-limits for people or pets
  • locations of cleaning supplies
  • location of your fuse box and new fuses

Plan Ahead:

  • Give your pet sitter as much advanced notification as possible.
  • Buy extra food and litter to keep on hand in case you are gone longer than planned.
  • Make sure your pets’ colars fit properly and they all have ID tags.
  • Clean up dirty dishes before you leave and remove food from the kitchen which may spoil.
  • Leave everything needed for the care of your pet in one, visible area so the sitter doesn’t have to search for leashes, food cans and medicine.
  • Arrange for a neighbor to have a key to your home in case of emergency and your pet sitter is unable to make a visit. Be sure your pet sitter has the name and phone number of your neighbor. “I ask clients to make sure they have plenty of extra food and litter,” says Terri Randall of Creature Comforts, “and I try to get the name and number of a good friend who lives within walking distance in case of a major snowstorm where roads are closed or power outage that would keep me from getting there in a timely manner. That way they can walk over and check on the pets, let them out if need be and make sure they are warm, fed and safe.”
  • Notify neighbors that a pet sitter will be visiting your house while you are away so they don’t worry when a strange person shows up at your house.

When You Leave:

  • Lock outside gates and swimming pool areas.
  • Lock doors and windows.
  • Unplug computers and appliances.
  • Consider leaving a radio on for a crime deterrant and to keep your pet company.
  • Ask your pet sitter to alternate blinds and lighting as a crime deterrent.
  • Put away items or chemicals harmful to pets.
  • Do not hide keys outside.
  • Make sure your pets are inside before you leave.
  • Adjust the thermostat to keep the house comfortable (heat or air conditioning) for your pets during your absence.
  • Be considerate of your pet sitter’s safety. “I always ask my clients to keep their walks shoveled for me so I can easily enter the homes as well as leaving an outside light on so I can see where I’m walking,” says Terri Randall.

10 Recommended Quality Standards for Pet Sitters

Please note that The Pet Sitter Portal is providing this information as a free service. The businesses listed on this website are not required to adhere to these standards, nor do we police our members in any way regarding these standards. If you wish to know if a business adheres to these or any other standards, you should contact them directly.

  1. Pet Sitters should be bonded and insured.
  2. Pet Sitters should provide references.
  3. Pet Sitters should visit the each client’s home before the first assignment so they may meet the pets and receive detailed instructions about their care.
  4. Pet Sitters should learn as much as possible about the animals in their care and strive to continually learn new information and skills about pet care.
  5. Pet Sitters should provide a service contract which specifies services and fees.
  6. Pet Sitters should have a website to display services, rates, policies and contact information to be available at any time to customers.
  7. Pet Sitters should provide a feedback form for clients.
  8. Pet Sitters should take precautions to ensure a client’s absence from their home is not detected through carelessness.
  9. Pet Sitters should have a veterinarian on call for emergency services and have a contingency plan in case of disasters and emergencies.
  10. Pet Sitters should call to confirm the client has returned home.

Finding a Pet Sitter: 10 Things 2 Look 4

  1. Pet Sitters should provide proof of commercial liability insurance (for accidents and negligence) and be bonded (against theft by a pet sitter or employees).
  2. Pet Sitters should provide a written service contract detailing services and fees.
  3. Pet Sitters should have a website with a list of services, rates, policies and contact information available at all times.
  4. Pet Sitters should be comfortable, confident, relaxed and friendly around your pets.
  5. Pet Sitters should have experience and continue to train and educate themselves about animals.
  6. Pet Sitters should come to your home and meet your pets before beginning an assignment.
  7. Pet Sitters should take notes of your pet’s medications, routines, etc.
  8. Pet Sitters should be associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services.
  9. Pet Sitters should have back-up plans for emergencies.
  10. Pet sitters should provide references with contact information.

Why Use a Pet Sitter?

Pets are happiest and least stressed when they are in their own home environment–their “territory.” A familiar environment, diet and exercise routine are all essential to an animal’s well-being. Eliminating the trauma of being transported in a carrier and minimizing exposure to illnesses from neighboring animals at kennels will make your vacation and your pets time away from you much happier.

If you use a pet sitter, you no longer have to impose on family, friends and neighbors. Often, neighbor children are entrusted with care of a pet while the owner is away. This is not the safest option available however, Children can be irresponsible or forgetful. Entrusting the safety of your home and the health of your pets to a paid professional ensures that they will be well taken care of and gives you peace of mind on during your time away.

Pet sitters can provide a variety of other related services for the security and maintenance of your home while you are away. As a crime deterrent, pet sitters can adjust lighting, shades, radios, and bring in mail and newspapers. Pet sitters can also water plants, run errands, and a multitude of other specialized services for the security of your home and safety of your pets.