Tips for Preparing for Your Pet Sitter
You love your pet, but you can’t be with them 24/7. And sometimes you need – or want – to travel someplace where you can’t take your fur kid. Leaving your furry family member with a pet sitter can be stressful. No one can love and spoil your pet as well as you. However, finding the right pet sitter and preparing thoroughly for them can keep your pet safe while you travel. Fortunately, 3 Lovable Labs has some tips for helping you find the purrfect sitter for your pet.
Learn the Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter
Hiring a pet sitter can reduce your pet’s stress by keeping them in a familiar place, explains Wild Things Pet Services. Regular visits let your pet get attention and playtime. Plus, their meals and other daily activities can remain consistent.
Find the Right Pet Sitter
Ask for personal recommendations for pet sitters from people you trust. Online sources like Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters offer member searches. Interview pet sitters you’re considering to see if they have your same philosophy of pet care. Looking at online reviews can also help you spot red flags.
Schedule a Meet-and-Greet
Always have your pet meet the pet sitter before you leave. Watch how the pet sitter interacts with them and how your pet reacts. This meet-and-greet lets you show the sitter where everything is and explain your routines in person.
Pet-Proof Your Place
Your home should already be safe for your pet. However, you won’t be around to keep them away from your houseplants or pick up small things on the floor they might eat. Comb through the home carefully to look for stray items that could be hazardous. Additionally, shut the doors in areas you want to keep your pet out of while you’re gone.
If you are starting a new endeavor that will require you to travel more, consider doing some renovations to your home to make it more pet sitter friendly. For example, you could add on a room with its own bathroom that is specifically for guests, including your sitter. That way, you don’t have to rearrange your bedroom or other parts of the house for guests. Be sure to keep all of your receipts during the upgrade because expansions like this one can be great for your home’s resale value.
Leave the Right Tools
Ensure that you have everything your pet needs in an easily accessible spot for the pet sitter, including plenty of food, treats, and any medications your pet takes. If you prepare food fresh or use canned pet food, have tools available to open and prepare it.
For dogs, keep the leash, collar or harness, and waste bags handy. You may want to invest in a new harness that is harder to wiggle out of to ensure your pooch doesn’t escape on a walk. Being with a new person can bring extra excitement and anxiety. It’s better to be safe than sorry! And don’t forget to provide cleaning products in case your pet has an accident.
Purchase Pet Insurance
If you are planning to hire a pet sitter for your beloved furry companion, it is important to take all the necessary steps to ensure that their stay with the pet sitter goes as smoothly as possible. One step you should consider is purchasing pet insurance in order to make sure that your pet is covered in the event of an emergency. Pet insurance can help provide coverage for medical or veterinary bills if a pet sustains an injury, becomes ill, or requires surgical attention while in the care of their pet sitter.
To find the best pet insurance, read reviews and research policies. There are a variety of policies available—some are customizable and offer flexible reimbursement rates.
Explain Your Protocols
You know your pet’s daily schedule without thinking about it, but your pet sitter won’t know how often your pet needs to be walked, when they eat, or how to give them their medication. Write a schedule and specific instructions on everything your pet needs from them. This provides a reference, so your pet sitter doesn’t have to guess or bug you while you’re on vacation.
Create a Communication Plan
It’s also important to set expectations for communication while you’re gone. Leave all your contact information, your vet’s contact info, and emergency contacts in the area just in case something happens. If you want the pet sitter to check in daily, let them know how you want them to contact you. You can also set up a pet camera to monitor your home. Most pet cameras have two-way audio, and some include a treat dispenser that you can control remotely.
After you return, be sure to send your pet sitter an adorable thank you card from 3 Lovable Labs. What animal lover won’t smile at a card from Big Max or his siblings?
Start Your Own Pet-Focused Business
If you find that you’re really good at communicating about pets with other pet owners and enthusiasts, perhaps you should start your own pet sitting business! You know what they say: do what you love. Because you own a pet, you know what it takes to keep one happy. Start by writing up a business plan that will help you to articulate your business structure, how you’ll fund any purchases or start-up costs, and how you’ll market your business.
Prepare for Your Pet Sitter
Leaving your pet behind while you travel can be difficult, but hiring a pet sitter you trust can be the next best thing to you being at home. Thorough preparation ensures your pet sitter has the information they need to keep your pet safe and stress-free so you can travel with less worry.