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Prepping For A Pet Sitter

Get Up and Go: Prepping For a Sitter

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, there are those times when you can't get your pet into a boarding facility. So, if you can't take them with you on your adventure, then you'll need to find a sitter care for your furry pals while you are away. If you're lucky enough to have trustworthy neighbors or family members that can come by to feed and care for your pet, then there are a few things you'll want to make sure you do before you jet off on your vacay, to ensure your pet (and sitter) remain as comfortable as possible.

  • Make sure your pet's food is fully stocked, and ready to scoop. If you use bagged food, let your sitter know which scoop you use to prevent over (or under) feeding. It's also a good idea to let the sitter know where any extra food bags (or extra cans, if you use canned food) are located even though you think you've stocked enough.
  • If your pet eats home cooked meals, make the food beforehand and separate meal-sized portions to prevent any confusion, and to take that duty off your sitter's hands.

There's a few more tips if you



  • Close off any areas of your home that you don't want your pets accessing. Since just shutting doors might not be enough if your sitter forgets to close them up again, putting up pet gates can ensure that, if your pet's aren't allowed in, they won't get in.
    Also, check to make sure your outside accessing doors are locked, as well as your pet doors. You don't want your pet roaming around outside with no one home to watch over them.
  • Don't leave your house keys for the sitter in a "hidden" spot outside your home. If possible, meet up with them ahead of time, not only to exchange keys, but to go over all the details of your pet's routine, and to show them around your place so they get the lay of the land.

Pet Comfort:

  • Leave plenty of toys for your pets to play with. Having a treat-filled Kong or mouse to distract and occupy the time will prevent your pet from getting bored and gnawing on your couch or scratching the carpets!
  • Clean and wash pet bedding and blankets before you go. Having a fresh house to come home to is way better than having a smelly, long-overdue-for-a-wash house. Plus, I'm sure your sitter will appreciate it too!
  • Leave extra supplies of kitty litter, since you never know what could happen. Stress from your absence can cause weird things to happen to your pet's digestive system!
  • If your pet is accustomed to having a treat at night, make sure you note it for your sitter. Since you want your pet to be comfy, you should list as much information about your pet's routine as possible.

Sometimes it may seem like you are doing more prep for the family members that are staying home than for the ones that are going away! But, just by making sure that all your bases are covered – from house, to food, to pet comfort – you and your pet will be happier and safer.

Have any other tips to add? Share them below in the comments!


missaudreyjean missaudreyjean 9 years
My boyfriend and I are going to NY in june for a few days and we are wrestling with what to do with little Butters. He's scared of pretty much anything so boarding isn't looking like the best option. He's really starting to trust one friend we have so I think we might let him come over and feed, play and walk him. I'm so nervous though.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I'm too attached to my cats to have been able to successfully vacation from them yet (except twice for emergencies), but I have interviewed pet sitters, gotten security cameras (to watch the sitter and the cats while I'm gone just in case, extra keys made, and kits with everything else ready for if I ever have to leave unexpectedly. I've made plans with the sitters for them to come over four times a day for thirty minutes each time, and have lists of all the things they can do in that time!
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
I'm leaving little Raja for my honeymoon in a week and a half :( My best friend is staying at the house while we're gone to watch her and I know she'll do a good job. One time when she came over the door was open too long and Raja ran out like a bullet and my friend ended up dropping everything and dashing out in the snow without shoes on to get her- so I know I can trust her!
kscincotta kscincotta 9 years
Since we live in an apartment complex with a yard that is shared by many different dogs, we always leave a list of which dogs are okay for Shenanigans to play with and which to leave alone. Some of our neighbors and their pups are super friendly but others either prefer that their dogs be left alone (for example, one of the dogs is much older and gets easily overwhelmed so she prefers to be left to her business) or their dogs are more aggressive than we prefer. So we always make sure to lay out all that information for our sitters since they are destined to encounter at least a few of the neighborhood pups on their trips to the yard.
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