Tips on getting the right pet sitter for you dogs and cats
As much as we would like to take our four-legged babies with us when we travel, it sometimes isn’t possible and they have to stay home with a sitter. Even if they know the person who is staying with them, they may still get depressed, misbehave or act out.
Our four-legged friends are not always happy that you left them behind and when you return you find that they took it out on your rugs.
In the past week alone Luv-A-Rug has had 5 rugs come in that were victims of pets frustration or lack of being let outside by the house/pet sitter.
It isn’t always easy to find the perfect person to take care of your home and pets when you are away. They may like your pets, but they may not understand them like you do.
Here are a few tips for you to make sure your pets and home are taken care of when you are away:
- Leave a clear and detailed list of pets needs and limitations
- Make sure the sitter knows who to call in an emergency
- Make sure sitter knows where breaker/fuse box, main water valve, fire extinguishers are
- Leave a list of contacts for vet, friends or family that are near by to help, plumber, etc
- If you have an alarm system for your home make a separate code for the sitter only.
- Stock up on all pets food, litter, treats and any medications
- Make a list of the rules that you have for your pets, ie: no laying on the furniture
You love your pets, but the sitter is only there part-time or just while you are away. When choosing the right person to care for your pets make sure that they understand your pets needs and limitations. You may not mind getting up at 3am to take your dogs outside, but the sitter may not be able to always accommodate that, so make sure they know this before they agree to sit for you. If your pets have limitations due to age or injury let them know this too. My boss has an old dog and she cannot go for long walks, but his pet sitter kept taking her for long walks even though they were asked not to.
If your pet has special feeding times, medication schedule etc, let the sitter know if they are flexible or not. You want your pet to be comfortable as possible while you are away. Pets are sensitive to change and their only defense is to have accidents on your rugs, furnishings and to act out.
Make sure that the sitter knows if there is a water leak, hot water tank burst or any other unexpected event they know who to call. Let your vet know that you will be away and who is taking care of your pets and if possible leave them your credit card number if there is any medical emergencies. Once when I was pet sitting for a friend one of her cats was next door walking around in their garage and fell into a pan of car oil. He came straight home and I noticed that he was waking funny. I realized very quickly that he had gotten into something so it was straight in to the tub for a quick bath and then a call to the vets. He was okay, but it was due to my quick reaction of getting him in a bath and then to the vets right away.
Things happen and they will always seem to happen when you are not home, even if the emergency seems far-fetched having a list of contact numbers is very helpful. I mean who thinks that their cat is going to get covered in oil?
Making a separate alarm code for the sitter is always a good idea no matter how much you trust and know them. Someone could be watching them while you are away, a friend of theirs may see the code and not be honest and try to break in. When I lived in a shared house with 4 other people, we all had our own security codes for the alarm. That way when someone moved out they couldn’t get back in. It did happened that one guy who had moved out tried to go back several weeks later while no one was home. His code set the alarm off because it was not allowed anymore. He had dishonest intentions and is it always better to be safe than have no tv, computer, jewelery, etc.
The last time I pet sat for a friend I ran out of dog food and cat litter. Not a good thing when her Collie/Husky has special diet needs and I had no way of getting the correct food. Luckily grandma was available to get a couple of cans of wet food until the right food could be bought. As for the cats, well they made due, but the smell was getting to me when ever I had to go to the basement to do laundry.
Even if it seems like there is enough food, it is always best to have extra and to let the sitter know where it is. That is always fun trying to find the cat food when you have a hungry cat following you around meowing and not being able to tell you where mommy and daddy hid her food.
You have house rules for your pets and they know the rules, but when mommy and daddy aren’t around the rules get bent if not fully broken. Write the rules down and ask that they be followed. I know it can take weeks to de-program your dog after it has been spoiled by someone else. If you don’t let your pets on the furniture or in specific rooms make it clear to the sitter that this is NOT allowed no matter what they may let their own pets do.
When you go away on vacation you want to be able to relax and know that your babies are taken care of. With a little planning and understanding and the right sitter all humans and pets can be happy.
When you discover that your pet did use your rug as a bathroom while you were away, Luv-A-Rug can help make it clean, healthy and smell better. 250-590-6210/1-800-866-2802 www.luvarug.com
Did I miss anything from my list?
What do you have as a requirement or special request for your pet sitters?
Thanks for reading, RugloverMary