You won’t always be there to watch your pet all 365 days of the year. According to CNN, the average U.S. worker receives an average of 10 paid vacation days per year. Whether you’re going to the beach, mountains, lake or elsewhere, though, you can hire a professional pet sitter to feed and care for your furry companion while you are away. However, there are a few things you should always tell your pet sitter before leaving your pet in his or her care.
#1) Health Conditions
First, inform your pet sitter of any diseases or medical conditions from which your pet is suffering. If you have a senior dog — defined as reaching or exceeding three-fourths of his expected lifespan — he may suffer from arthritis. According to Wikipedia, arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions from which senior dogs suffer. As dogs age, the supportive cartilage in their joints begins to break down, resulting in painful friction when the dog moves the affected joint. A pet sitter can help an arthritic dog by discouraging him from jumping and providing him with a soft, orthopedic sleeping area.
If your pet requires medicine, you should inform your sitter of this as well. Administering medicine to pets isn’t always easy, especially when performed by a stranger. So, consider showing your sitter how to administer your pet’s medicine before you leave. If it’s a pill for a dog, you might cover it in peanut butter to make it more appealing. If it’s liquid medicine, you may administer it via an oral medication syringe. Either way, you should show your sitter exactly how to administer your pet’s medicine.
#2) Veterinarian Contact Information
Your pet sitter probably has his or her own preferred veterinarian. After all, most pet sitters are also pet owners, so they regularly take their furry companions to the veterinarian for checkups, vaccinations and medical treatment. However, only your veterinarian has records on your pet. If a medical emergency arises, your veterinarian can provide better treatment to improve the chances of a positive prognosis.
Don’t just tell the sitter your veterinarian’s name and phone number but, rather, write this information on paper and leave it where the sitter can easily find it. You can place it on the refrigerator or coffee table, for instance, along with your own contact information. Hopefully, your pet sitter won’t need to contact your veterinarian, but it’s
Finally, you should always tell your sitter your pet’s schedule. Different dogs eat at different times of the day, and it’s important to maintain your dog’s schedule. If you have a puppy, he will probably eat three or four small meals per day. But if you own an adult dog, two or three larger meals will suffice. To ensure your pet’s feeding schedule isn’t disrupted, inform your sitter of how many meals your pet eats and when.
Also, let your pet sitter know what time your pet goes to bed and what time he wakes up. Your sitter can encourage your pet to stay on his sleeping schedule by visiting your house during your pet’s waking hours. If your sitter arrives late at night when your pet is asleep, it may startle your pet, causing stress and anxiety. Problems such as these are easily avoided by maintaining your pet’s schedule.
It’s daunting leaving your pet in the hands of someone else. Thankfully, though, pet sitters do this for a living, so they know how to care for your furry companion. Just remember to tell your sitter the three things listed here before leaving.