Written by: Gina Brugna, Owner of The Peaks Pet Nanny Team
Heading out of town and decided to hire a dog sitter for your furkid? There are a few very important things your sitter is going to need from you before you hit the road. While most sitters will provide their own list, you can use this checklist as a template. After all, it’s never too early to start preparing!
In this article, we’ve covered all the essentials to make your sitter’s job easier and give you peace of mind.
House Keys and Alarm Codes
Before you go away on your trip, you’ll need to make sure your sitter has access to the house. Leave clear instructions on how to use the house alarm (have the code written down somewhere) and what to do if they accidentally set it off. They’ll also need a key to your place. Pro tip: Let your sitter know which of your neighbors or family members has a spare key and how to get in contact with them in case of an emergency. By making sure you’ve got the basics covered, you can relax without any unwanted phone calls!
Emergency Contact Information
Your pet sitter needs to be able to contact you for a daily check-in and in case of an emergency. Along with your personal cell phone, offer up a work phone (if you have one). If you’re going on holiday, we also recommend you print out an itinerary for your dog sitter so they know exactly where you’re going to be. Make sure to include hotel names, addresses, and phone numbers. That way, they can get in contact with you no matter where you are.
Plus, leave a phone number for a trusted neighbor in case your sitter needs something ASAP from someone nearby.
Vets Contact Information
No one wants to think of their pet injured or in distress, but sometimes the unthinkable does happen. Making sure your sitter knows exactly how to contact your vet is essential. Along with your vet’s emergency numbers, print out and leave any important medical history.
Additionally, print out info for any medication your pooch takes (names, doses, and how to administer) and what it’s for. We’ll talk more about medications in a minute. This way, if anything does happen, your sitter will be able to get your pet the best care as soon as possible.
Pet Insurance Card
If there is an incident with your pet, you don’t want to come home to a hefty vet’s bill. If your sitter is concerned about your pet’s health, they aren’t going to spare the time to try and contact you about insurance. This is why their pet insurance card needs to be kept with all of the vet’s contact information where it can be easily seen.
Pet Information (For Emergency)
If there’s an emergency, the more information the sitter has about your pet, the better. This includes having a clear up-to-date photograph of your pet.
You should also have both their microchip number and their registration number written down.
If your pet has any medical issues, make sure you have a detailed list of what these are. It’s also good to mention any personality traits. Are they scared of loud noises? Do they often run to visit your next-door neighbors’ dogs? Things like this will really help your sitter, especially if they are just getting to know your pet for themselves.
A List of Instructions
While you’ll have detailed all of this with your sitter in advance, it’s always a good idea to leave a set of instructions with them, so that nothing is forgotten. This includes how many walks your dog is to have a day, how long they are to spend playing, etc. It’s also a good idea to let them know what your pet isn’t allowed to do. If your pooch isn’t usually allowed on the sofa then now is the time to tell the pet sitter!
Food and Feeding Guidelines
How many times is your pet fed every day? How much is given to him/her each time? Are they allowed any treats? If so, are they always given to them at a particular time, such as after a walk? Listing all of this out in detail will help your sitter stick to your dog’s daily routine. It also means your pooch isn’t going to be either under or overfed.
Also, let your sitter know if there’s anything that your pet definitely can’t eat. Some pets have allergies so you need to detail all of these.
A List of Any Medications
If your pet takes any medications, then you need to write them out in detail so your sitter knows exactly what to give, what it’s for, and how to administer it. Medications can be given in different ways, so it’s important to provide detailed instructions for this. Make sure your sitter knows if the medications are time-sensitive as well so that your pet’s routine is kept right. This should all be a part of your dog sitter safety plan.
Routine and Personality
Each pet has their own personality, so it’s a good idea to explain their traits. Where do they like to sit? What are their favorite toys? Do they have a particular routine that they like to stick to? If your pet gets nervous or is older, you need to let your sitter know the best things for them to do to help keep them calm without you.
While you’re away, there hopefully won’t be any accidents in your home. But, accidents are just that — accidents. So, just in case there are, you need to let your sitter know where you keep all of your cleaning supplies. Most sitters will want to leave your house looking exactly the way you left it, so keep all of these items close to hand so that they can do just that.
Along with paper towels and rug/furniture cleaner, let your sitter know where you keep the dog shampoo. This will come in handy if your pooch goes for a walk in the rain and gets muddy!
There you have it! 10 top tips to create a pet sitter instruction template for your holiday. With all this information, you know that your sitter is going to have everything that they need to give your pet the best care possible while you’re away. That’s one less thing for you to worry about!
Hi, I’m Gina, the owner and founder of The Peaks Pet Nanny. We’ve been caring for pets since 2004 and our Pet Nannies provide Professional Dog Walking, Dependable Pet Sitting and Overnight Pet Care, providing invaluable peace of mind. Our entire team of like-minded animal lovers is dedicated to the wellbeing of pets while their family travels for work or pleasure.