Woman wearing a red hat hugging dog

Set Up Dog Sitters for Success When You Leave This Holiday Season

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.
December
19
,
2019

Two dogs gazing out the window with lighted wreath

’Tis the season to be traveling, and you might not be able to take your furry friend with you this year to the family house. Or maybe you’re shopping around for a new dog walker while you’re at work. Either way, organization and information are the keys to success when it comes to making sure that your pooch will be safely taken care of, loved, and maybe even a little spoiled this howliday season.

Leave some lists!

Pug wearing glasses holding chalkboard checklist

  • Make a list of all emergency contacts including a person your dog adores, the veterinarian, and the local 24-hr emergency veterinary center.
  • Have all relevant medical documentation available, including rabies vaccination records.
  • A detailed list of instructions that explain how to feed your pup, including any prescriptions/supplements/etc.
  • Don’t forget important daily & bedtime rituals.
    • Is the TV or radio left on when the house is empty?
    • How often and when are potty times?
    • Does your pup sleep in a crate? With a favorite toy?
    • Do they get a final treat before bed?

Even if you’ve reviewed all of this via text, email, or a phone call prior to your departure, the caretaker will ALWAYS benefit from having a written reminder readily available.

Get to know each other!

Young man petting labrador retriever on a walk

  • Have at least one visit between your dog and the pet sitter in your presence prior to your departure date.
  • Does your dog sitter love to go on longer walks or more frequent, shorter ones? What does Fido prefer?
  • Make sure to inform them if your dog has “Stranger Danger,” leash reactivity, or likes to chase squirrels, for example.
  • Regarding leashes, collars or any special harnesses (with tags!), make sure that they are easily located and that your caretaker knows how to put them on.

Prepare for the unexpected!

  • Have a back-up plan for mealtime: Some dogs can experience slight distress if facing changes, and may not eat the same food they usually devour. Make sure to leave a high-quality alternative like canned food, freeze-dried toppers, bone broth or even some grilled steak.
  • Make sure to have an extra key hidden somewhere, as well as any other logistics that you would normally set up before a house-sitter’s arrival.

It’s always a rush to get out of the door before you leave on a trip. If you can, keep in mind these helpful suggestions and prepare some of them in advance. That way, you, your pet sitter, and your pup will all have a safe and fun time together.

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