Whether we like it or not, there will be times where we can’t bring our dogs to places we want to go. If you don’t have anyone you can entrust your dog with, you can opt for a pet boarding service. But sometimes boarding your dog might not be a good idea—especially if your dog is frisky, a bit wild, or older. In these cases, the best possible option for you is to hire a dog sitter. Pet sitting can be a bit stressful, but the key is making sure that you have good pet sitting instructions for your pet sitter.
Like hiring a dog walker, you want your dog to be comfortable with pet sitters. The goal is to get your dog to treat their pet sitter as a fellow family member. Nobody is going to be as good as your puppy’s pet parents, but with some education and patience your god can learn to love pet sitters.
I want to provide you with a sample list of dog sitting instructions, covering all the important things so that your dog sitter’s job is as easy as possible and your sitter knows exactly what to do. The more important thing is to help give you peace of mind while you leave your furry friend(s) for a while.
Dog Sitting Directions
We all want to know that while we are away, our dogs are being cared for and treated with love and affection. To help your dog sitter do the best job possible, and to help your dog too, you should tell your dog sitter all the essentials they need to care for your dog.
Here’s a list of things your dog sitting instructions should cover:
House Access (Keys and Alarm Codes)
First and foremost, before your dog sitter can do their job and pet sit, they need to have access to your house. Before you leave home, remember to give your sitter a set of keys and any alarm codes they might need. Show your sitter how to use the house alarm if you have one. If you won’t be able to get the chance to do these in person or over the phone, write a detailed note with some special instructions. As for the keys, let your sitter know which of your neighbors or family relatives has a spare key closer by— and leave a phone number so that they will be able to get in contact in case of an emergency or lock-out.
Personal Contact Information
As loving dog owners, we’d like to have an update from our dog sitter regarding our fur baby(ies). Whether you’re going on a holiday, vacation or business trip, you should print out a schedule so that your dog sitter will know when the best time is to call you for non-emergencies. You should also give your sitter emergency contact information to just in case. This way, it will be easy for your dog sitter to get in touch with you. In case of an emergency, also let them know all of your close and trusted neighbors, so that they can have some assistance for something that’s urgent.
Some Information About Your Dog
It’s always better if your sitter knows your dog and your dog is comfortable around your dog sitter. If your dog sitter and your dog aren’t super familiar, it might help to give your sitter some info about your dog. it may include your dog’s clear up-to-date photo, microchip number and registration number. Furthermore, if your dog has any health-related or medical-related issues, it’s best to address each issue in a detailed list. You should also give your sitter some explanations regarding your dog’s behavior as well. Are they noisy when they’re hungry? Do they scratch the door when they want to go for a walk? What time do they get up in the morning? These will help your sitter to better understand your dog and know how to handle them accordingly.
Pets all behave differently, so you should list our some of your dog’s quirky or special behaviors so that your per sitter knows what to expect. Always bring out your dog’s favorite toys as well. Some house information is good too- like how to keep the dog off the kitchen counter, alarm codes, etc. Be thorough when you can- a responsible dog owners will definitely leave a dog sitting checklist, with a cell phone number, veterinarian’s information, and more. Well written instructions are key!
Daily Routines and House Rules
Our dogs have a daily routine in which they are already used to. And they really like to stick to their routine. It may include a walk around their favorite walking spots in the dog parks in the morning, play time in the afternoon playing their favorite games later in the day. It’s a good idea to reinforced these routines to give your dog some structure, so discuss continuing with walking your puppy if you have a sitter for a few weeks. Your dog should be able to continue these even with you away. Also, you should also let your sitter know what your pup isn’t allowed to do. It may include sleeping on your couch, biting the grass or any other behavior you’re trying to discourage.
Your Dog’s Personality
Everyone knows that each dog has their own unique personality. Their actions and reactions to things largely vary depending on their personalities. Letting your sitter know about your dog’s personality will help your dog sitter big time. They can easily pick up the signs and tend to your dog’s needs. This is very important particularly when a dog is older or tends to get a bit nervous—as the sitter will know to try and keep your dog calm with you away.
Food and Feeding
It is important to let your sitter know what food your dog does and doesn’t eat (or can’t due to food allergies), including the times they need to be fed and how much they need to be fed. If they’re allowed for any treats, tell your sitter when these should be given as well. With all of this knowledge, your sitter can avoid overfeeding or underfeeding your dog.
Vet’s Contact Information
Everyone dreads it, but sometimes accidents happen while you’re away, and your dog may be injured or fall ill. Let your sitter know your veterinarian’s contact info as well as your dog’s medical history. It is important for your sitter to know all of these, so that they’ll know what to do first thing if any accident suddenly occurs.
List of Medications
In case your pet takes any medications, you should let your sitter know all of these in detail, as well as any medical issues your dog might have. Make sure to write down dosages and the time your dog takes medication. Furthermore, medications aren’t all the same with regard to application. You should demonstrate or at least provide detailed written instructions if your dog needs eye drops, ear drops, or something similar. More detail is better, so you can rest assured that your dog is in safe hands incase of an emergency and receiving the best possible care.
Home Cleaning Supplies
Sometimes your dog sitter won’t be able to keep your dog from making a mess. To make sure your house isn’t a disaster when you return, tell your dog sitter where you keep your cleaning supplies (paper towels specifically). Let them know anything that will help them clean up easier in case your dog makes a mess in your house or has an accident in the house.
Some Final Thoughts
Pets are messy, there’s no way around it. But taking are of a pet is fun, so when you look for a dog sitter, find someone who you know will take good care of your pup. Leaving your dog for the first time can be stressful, but it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you have enough food, water bowls, a leash, poop bags, pet information, medication, and an emergency phone number. With those bases covered, all your dog sitter really needs to do is give you dog food and generous pets! You want your dog sitter to succeed in taking good care of your precious fur baby(ies), then you should also do your part as a pet owner—by providing a nice dog sitter checklist. If you leave good instructions, there should be nothing for you to worry about when your dog is under the care of someone else. You can enjoy your vacation or focus on your business trip without needing to worry if your furry buddy is in good hands or not.