Before you leave your pet with a sitter (whether the sitter is a pro or family/friend), go thru our Preventative checklist below!
- Is your pet wearing a collar with ID tags that are easy to read and up to date?
- Is your pet’s collar too loose? Use the “two finger” rule: Once the pet’s collar is fastened, you should be able to easily slide two fingers under the collar. When you slide the width of your two fingers between the collar and neck, the collar should feel snug, but not tight. You should not be able to slide your pet’s collar off his head, or your pet may end up slipping out of its collar.
- Leave a leash on the counter for the sitter to use any time your pet goes outside, even if the yard is fenced.
- Using an invisible fence system? Replace the batteries in your pet’s invisible fence collar.
- Is your pet microchipped? Yes? Great! Is your pet’s microchip properly registered to you? Is your contact info up to date with the microchip company?
- Is your pet wearing a rabies tag? Call the county that provided the rabies tag, and ensure they have your current contact info in their system.
- Have an emergency contact list available for your sitter. Pets can often become stressed and anxiety ridden when their family goes on vacation. A pet that never runs off can suddenly become a flight risk. Walk thru your expectations should your pet run off, i.e. how soon do you wish to be notified? Should the sitter call any local family or friends who know the pet well to help search? Ensure that there is a mutual understanding that should your pet go missing, your expectation is to be contacted immediately.
- Review do’s and don’ts for pet sitter, i.e. no car rides for pet, pet’s allergies, any potential habits that your pet has (i.e. breaking into things, food party in the pantry, jumping the fence, etc.)
Considerations for selecting a pet sitter
Heading out for a trip and need to find someone to watch your pet? Pet sitters do so much more than let your pet out to potty and provide feedings. They become the stand-in caretaker for your pet while you are not at home. Even the best natured pet can develop some anxiety when left with a person that is familiar to them. From their perspective, the most important being(s) have suddenly disappeared from their eyes.
To keep your beloved pet comfortable and at ease while you are gone, think about the following needs for your pet:
- When introducing your pet to a potential pet sitter, watch your pet’s reaction. If your pet snubs the sitter, chances are they may develop a higher level of anxiety while you are gone. If your pet demonstrates a relaxed body language, that’s a good sign!
- Interview the pet sitter! It’s ok to ask questions. Ask for references, and follow through with the reference checks. How do they handle emergency situations? What does the pet sitter consider an emergency vs non-emergency? Does this align with your expectations?
- Ask the pet sitter about what you and your pet can expect from them, i.e. will there be daily walks? Will there be play time? Cuddles? Remember, the happier your pet is while you are gone, the more relaxed your pet will be and hopefully it will be a fun vacation for the pet too! If your pet associates your vacation with fun time, trust us, your pet will be a happy, exhausted pet when you return.
- Hiring someone new? Allow your pet to meet ‘n greet with the sitter in advance of your vacation. After all, how would you do being left with a stranger, all new smells, and mom/dad nowhere to be found?
- Will the pet sitter use the leash at all times, even within the fenced yard? Safety and prevention is well worth avoiding an accident where a beloved fur baby goes missing.
- Leaving your pet at someone else’s home? Take some personal items that contain your scent to the location. Anything you can do to help your pet feel secure will be well worth it!