So, you’re finally getting away for the weekend. This is one of life’s little pleasures. But when you have pets, it can also be a source of stress. Providing your sitter with all of the tools, food, medication, and information that they need to settle your pet and keep them happy is crucial. Setting your pet sitter up for success is simple when you know how!
How to help your pet sitter succeed
When it comes to new environments, pets are not always adept at adjusting—especially when they have to do it without their owner! Of course, if you have arranged for a familiar friend or family member to watch your pets, this will be less of an issue (especially if they are watching them in your home). This is not always possible, however, and some pets deal with an upsetting amount of stress and anxiety when their pet parents are away. So, if you have a pet that is a little anxious, or you have to send them to another location while you are away, these simple steps are incredibly effective:
Write down all key information
Your pet sitter needs to know everything that may be relevant while you are away, even if it is just for a few days. Write down the details of any medications your pet may need, how and when they should be administered, and make sure that they have enough to last the duration of your trip. Writing down your pet’s usual schedule or routine for feeding and exercise can also be helpful as certain animals, such as dogs, thrive when they have a stable routine. Sticking to their routine may help them cope when you are away. You should also set aside time to discuss this information with your sitter so they can ask questions if needed.
Provide emergency contact details
Of course, your pet sitter will want to be able to contact you in an emergency. But if you are going to be more than an hour or two away, you should also provide emergency contacts that are closer to home. Leaving your pet sitter with the number of a trusted friend or family member, as well as your usual vet, will ensure that they can react appropriately if something happens. It will also give you peace of mind!
Bring comfort items
Studies show that environmental factors have a big impact on an animal’s stress levels, so providing familiar items when sending your pet to a sitter can make a huge difference. While it can be tempting to get new blankets and toys if your pet’s favorites look “well-loved,” this could be counterproductive. Your pet will appreciate the familiar smells and your pet sitter will find it easier to settle them if they have a piece of home with them. You can also include a piece of worn clothing in their bedding, so they have something that smells like you too.
Prepare your pet for transportation
If your pet sitter is transporting your pet to another location, it is important that you update their ID, microchip, and other identifying details, as well as set up their travel crate. This will make transportation more seamless and protect your pet if they slip their leash or try to run home.
Leave without making a fuss
Although you understand that you are leaving for longer than usual, your pet doesn’t know this. When you leave, try to do it in the same way you do when you go to work or leave for short periods of time. This will prevent your pets from becoming distressed and agitated when you first leave.
Above all else, remember that you chose this sitter because you trust them to take good care of your pet. Your fur baby will be happy to see you when you come home, and with these preparatory steps, they should have a perfectly pleasant stay with the sitter!