It can be difficult, as a dog owner, to leave your pet in someone else’s care. You know your dog so well, especially if you got them as a puppy. Will they be anxious without you around? Will they go into a depression?
As a first-time pet owner, it’s in your best interest to take a vacation every so often, whether it’s a day trip to the city or an overnight stay at an Airbnb. And while you might not feel comfortable leaving your dog alone with a pet sitter overnight, you can make sure they’re in good hands with some preparation and insight. From leaving behind healthy dog treats and chews to starting off with short trips away, here’s how to find and prepare the perfect pet sitter.
Get to Know Your Pet Sitter First
Before you up and leave your pet alone with a sitter, you should make sure to do your research beforehand. This will involve looking around for reliable sitters in your area. You could ask friends, coworkers, relatives, and neighbors for referrals, as they’re sure to know someone good in the area.
Similarly, you can even ask your vet to see if they have any referrals in their network. They might either know someone personally or they may have other patients who provide such resources reliably.
You can always rely on dedicated pet sitting websites, too. These sites offer exceptional insight when you can’t get any reliable recommendations. You’ll be able to search from a pool of professional and intermediate pet sitters, while also reading their reviews and seeing their personal rating. That precise information will provide necessary insight into whether they’d be a good fit with your dog.
On top of that, it’s recommended that you actually meet your dog sitter face to face prior to leaving them with your dog. Not because you want to get a feel for them — rather, you want to make sure they get along with your dog.
You’ll want to get a feel for a few different things if they are able to come to your house beforehand, including:
- Make sure they get along with your dog, whether you go on a walk together while giving them the leash or run an errand and see how they fare together
- Ensure they understand the rules, not just for your dog but as they relate to your house — since they’ll also be a house sitter while you’re away
- Guarantee they know where your dog’s food and toys are
- Fill them in on any of your dog’s peculiar habits or needs, whether they go to the bathroom twice on walks or if they have any areas they like to scratch (where they shouldn’t be)
Knowing your pet sitter has all of the details beforehand will be essential to allowing you to enjoy your time away. Some nuances get lost in a handwritten note, so try to have a get-together before you leave.
Preparing Before You Leave
Before you head off on vacation, to your movie, or for a long weekend, make sure you leave out everything your pet sitter needs. Here are some of the basics you can’t forgo:
- Contact information of you and your vet
- Extra emergency contact numbers
- Your planned travel itinerary
- Leave behind any info related to any of your dog’s medical conditions (if they have any)
- A written list of your pet’s daily routine
- Maps of nearby trails you and your dog walk
- Approved snacks your dog can eat
Otherwise, make sure that some of the basics are out so your sitter can properly take care of your dog. That involves their bed, leash, collar, harness, food, water bowls, plush toys, and more.
By covering the mere basics, you can ensure your dog sitter gets started off on the right foot. That comfort is essential to developing a personal relationship with your dog. If they’re anxious, rummaging around the house looking for things, don’t expect your dog to be at ease. Instead, give them what they need to make your home their own, all while welcoming your dog with open arms.
Some Extra Touches
Before you leave for vacation, you need to make sure to cover some other basics. Well, let’s call them extras.
Your dog is going to love you if you leave their favorite toys out, and make specific note of them for the dog sitter. Being presented with their favorite toys is not only going to make them more comfortable from the start, but it will also give them a nice reminder of you.
Make sure to leave behind some stellar snacks, too. Is there anything a dog loves more than a tasty, long-lasting snack? Not that we can think of! Leave behind some collagen chews, pig ears, and bully sticks for dogs to appease their appetite while giving them something fun to chew.
Lastly, make sure that all of their essentials are in one, easy-to-find place. This will help your dog while making life easier for the pet sitter. Rather than having to scour your house in search of their collar and leash, your pet sitter can avoid wasting any time at all. This means more time for walking, playing, running, and bonding while you’re away.