How to Prepare for a Pet Sitter

Posted on Mar 29th 2022


How to Prepare for a Pet Sitter

The time has finally come. You’re going on a vacation or a work trip and you’ll be separated from your four-legged best friend.

No one knows your dog like you do, and it can be stressful to think about leaving your loyal pup with someone new. Thankfully, there are several reputable websites and apps out there which do background checks on dog sitters, so you can find someone trustworthy to take care of your dog.

If you find a sitter you’re interested in, set up a time for them to come over and meet your dog to make sure it’s a good fit. Once you’ve found a sitter you and your dog get along with, you can move onto the next — most important — part: preparing your home and your dog for your time away.

Use the following checklist to help prepare your dog, your home, and your sitter for your time away.

Gather Important Information

Put together a folder with essential information for your dog sitter. This includes a pet care safety plan with emergency contacts, such as your veterinarian, the closest emergency pet hospital, and local police. In addition to important contact information, list what your sitter needs to know about your dog’s health, including…

  • if they have a history of health concerns,
  • the names and dosages of any medications they may be taking,
  • pet insurance information,
  • and immunization history.

Other important information to include is your pet’s microchip information, if applicable, their local government registration number, and a clear photo of your dog.

Dog Training Elite's pup preparing its information on a laptop.

Stock Up on Supplies, and Make Sure they are Easy to Find

Make sure your dog has enough food, treats, medication, toys, toothpaste, poop bags… you get the idea. If you have a dog who makes messes, have cleaning products ready as well. Get the correct amount of anything your dog needs or uses on a regular basis for the duration of your trip. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, let your pet sitter know where to find everything.

Write Detailed Instructions

Feel free to simply tell your pet sitter about your dog’s routine, but we recommend writing it down as well. Make detailed notes of your dog’s daily schedule, likes and dislikes, and so on. Here are a few things to include in your list:

  1. Daily routine. When your dog likes to go out to use the bathroom, when and where they like to go on walks or to play fetch, when they are expected to get in a crate or go to bed.
  2. Food and medicine intake. How much food and treats they get per day, when they eat dog food, dosages of medications and when they need to take medications.
  3. Likes and dislikes. What games does your dog like to play, or where to find their favorite toys; whether or not they like other dogs or get anxiety in large crowds.

Dog Training Elite's sleepy pup snuggled up in a blanket.

Leave instructions for your home as well. Let your sitter know where to find a spare key if needed, or with a neighbor. Let your neighbors know you’ll have a pet sitter staying at your home, and introduce them if possible. Also let your pet sitter know things like how to use your TV, your heating/air conditioning, your wifi password, and if there are any rooms they shouldn’t go into or allow your dog to go into.

Prepare for Your Departure

Give your dog lots of love in the days before you leave. You may want to utilize that time to brush up on any obedience skills that have fallen by the wayside to help your dog be on his or her best behavior. Close off any areas of your home you don’t want your dog or sitter to enter, and make sure any potential hazards to your dog (weed killer, cleaning supplies, etc.) are put away safely. If you have a backyard, double check there are no holes in the fence your dog could escape through, or any other hazards.

Leaving your dog at home, especially if it’s for the first time, can be difficult. But if you prepare, both you and your dog will make it through. If your dog needs help being more obedient or comfortable with strangers, contact Dog Training Elite for a free in-home evaluation and training demonstration.