How to Write Effective Instructions for Your Petsitter

Sometimes, you can’t take your furry friends with you. Whether it’s a break with no responsibilities or travel to a country with quarantine requirements, while you’re away you want your furbaby treated like you would treat them.

Firstly, it is imperative to conduct interviews of your potential dog sitters. Ask them about insurance, background checks, experience, and how much time they are actually committing to dedicate to your pets.

Once you have secured your pet sitter, it’s time to leave them detailed instructions of what you need him/her to do. Consider the following as you are writing :

Food Schedule: Does your pet get separate meals? Is the food left down? Do they sometimes skip meals? Are treats allowed? Do they have allergies? Are your pets food aggressive? How much food and when?

Walk Schedule: When do you walk your pets? Do they go in a fenced in backyard? Do they go crazy if they don’t get their hour walk daily? Where are the doggie bags? Leashes? Harnesses?

Medical Concerns/Vet Details: Make sure your vet knows you are leaving town. Find out what your vet needs in order to provide medical care in your absence. If your pet needs medication make sure the sitter is qualified to administer it or set up an appointment for your vet to go over it with your sitter.

Quirks: List things like hiding spots, sleeping spots, if the pet is scared of storms, etc. Was the dog previously abused? ( I have a hospice dog that is terrified of sudden movements)  Does your dog have separation anxiety?

Additional Requests: Get the mail, water the ficus, pick fruit/veg from the garden, etc.

Additional Information: WIFI password, neighbor’s numbers, key location, garage/alarm code, phone numbers where you may be reached, “I made tea, help yourself”

Make sure to communicate all of this information prior to the stay. Be as honest as you can to avoid an upset call from your sitter. If they are anticipating that your dog is food aggressive, for example, they can put the food down while your dog is out of the room to avoid risk of being bitten. If you don’t warn the sitter, this could be catastrophic.

Do you have any suggestions for other pet parents that are leaving their furbabies behind? I’d love to hear them!

Need a pet sitter?  Rover.com (Use my link for $20 off your first pet sit) has great pet sitters. They run background checks, show reviews and provide insurance. Most of the sitters have advance training as well. I highly recommend using Rover.

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