Taking a vacation without your pet by your side can be hard. For some pet parents, it’s like leaving a family member behind. So if you’re taking an extended vacation, hire a professional sitter to watch your pet. Unlike a trip to the kennel, your pet can enjoy the comfort of home and be less stressed about your absence.

Finding the right pet sitter

But, before you leave, prepare your home for the sitter with the following tips:

Find the Right Pet Sitter

Choosing the right pet sitter is important. You want to pick someone who’s passionate about animals, responsible and trustworthy. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is a non-profit organization that helps connect pet parents to the right pet sitter for their four-legged family member. Pet parents can search through an extensive directory of professional pet sitters directly from the website by providing their zip code and selecting which types of services they need for their pet. NAPPS also recommends thoroughly reviewing a potential pet sitter’s references prior to making a hiring decision.

Introduce Your Pet

After you find a potential sitter, set up a meeting to introduce your pet to his or her new caregiver. Choose a location that’s pet-friendly like a community park or cafe for your first meeting. During this time you can address anything the sitter needs to know about your pet, such as medical conditions, diet restrictions or exercise needs. Use this time to ask questions about his or her prior experience, areas of expertise, certifications and rates.

After you’ve established a relationship with the pet sitter, invite him or her into your home to spend some time with your pet. Give your pet time to get acquainted with his or her new caregiver before you leave for an extended period of time. Testing out a night or a day can make the transition easier once it’s time to leave.

Do Chores Ahead of Time

Before you hand over the keys to your pet sitter, make sure your home is welcoming, comfortable and tidy. Regular chores like mowing the lawn, caring for the pool and pet-proofing hazardous areas are common courtesies and must be completed before your departure.

Don’t forget to schedule or complete larger chores, either. For example, pest control should be scheduled and completed ahead of time so your pet sitter doesn’t have to worry about paying them or having them around the house. This goes the same for landscaping, maids and other services.

Stock up on Supplies

Having your pet’s food, medications and any other necessities fully stocked up ahead of time is a must. Don’t leave your pet sitter with a nearly empty bag of dog food, but instead supply him or her with more than enough food to last throughout your trip. Give the sitter feeding instructions before you leave to ensure your pet is not over or under fed.

Check in Periodically

After you’ve said your goodbyes, check in with your pet and pet sitter. It’s not uncommon to ask for updates and photos of your pet while he or she is in a sitter’s care. Establish a means of communication through email or text, and regularly communicate with the sitter to make sure all is well at home.

Filed under: All About Dogs

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!