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.