When you leave your pets in the care of a PSI (Pet Sitters International) dog walker or pet sitter, you can travel with peace of mind. To make sure your walker or sitter has all the necessities to take the best care of your pet, check off the items on this handy list of Tips and FAQs before you leave home.
Then, relax and enjoy the trip – knowing your companion animals are in good hands!
Preparation is Key
- Notify your veterinarian in writing that a pet sitter will be caring for your pet and authorize the vet to extend medical care during your absence if it becomes necessary.
- Provide written verification that your pet is up-to-date on its shots. Have your pet wear current identification and vaccination tags on its collar.
- Keep all supplies in one general and visible area. This includes food, treats, utensils, food and water bowls, medications, leash, can opener, toys, paper towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, litter and scoop, broom and dustpan and/or vacuum cleaner, towels (for rainy walks), newspapers (if paper training) and watering can for plants.
- Be sure to tell your pet sitter about any unusual habits your pet has; i.e., destructive behavior when left alone, change in bowel or eating habits, hiding places, etc.
- Tell the pet sitter if bathrooms or any other household areas are off limits to your pet and/or sitter. Secure access to these areas before leaving home.
- If your pet is prone to chew, please leave “chew toys” and take proper precautions to guard your personal items and home furnishings from his teeth while you are away.
- For the comfort of your pet, adjust your thermostat before leaving on your trip and advise your pet sitter the range it should be kept in. A closed-up home can get uncomfortably warm in a short time.
Pet Proof Your Home
- Make sure cupboards and storage areas (garage) are secured. A bored or determined dog can go “where they’ve never gone before.”
- Are the toilet lids down in any accessible bathrooms?
- See that medications are locked up. The sound of pills rattling in a plastic bottle may entice a pet to chew the bottle open.
- Remove candy and nuts from coffee tables or locations where a pet can reach them. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and nuts can be dangerous as well.
- Check to see that any hobby supplies; i.e., paints, glue, needles and thread, etc., have been placed away from an inquisitive pet’s reach.
- Make sure your pet sitter is aware of anyone who may be on your premises or entering your home during the pet-sitting assignment.
- Use timers on interior lights and program them to turn on at dusk and off at bedtime. Use motion sensors on exterior lights. If evening visits are scheduled to your home, the pet sitter will really appreciate this safety precaution!
- Make sure doors and windows are securely locked before leaving. This should include garage doors, sliding glass doors and basement doors and windows. If outside doors have panes of glass near a push-button lock, consider installing a dead bolt lock as well.
- If applicable, advise gate security that a pet sitter will be visiting your home and authorize entry.
- Inform your neighbors of your absence and use of a pet sitter.
- Make sure any fences are secure and gates are locked.
Information courtesy of Pet Sitters International.