As much as we love our pets, it can be challenging or impossible to bring them with us on our holidays. Today I’m going to give you three tips on how to help your pet feel safe and secure before you embark on your journey!
How to prepare your pet for a pet sitter tip #1: Let your pet meet your pet sitter through a meet & greet
To reduce your pet’s stress while you’re away, it’s important to organise a meet & greet with the pet sitter. Initially, you’ll want to provide your pet’s:
· Name – what does your pet respond to? Does he/she have a nickname?
· Age – this is important for the pet sitter to understand your pet’s health and behaviour
· Breed – this will help your pet sitter to know what typical behaviours to expect
· Behaviour – are there any nuances that your pet sitter should be aware of?
· Eating habits – how much food to give and when to give it
· Pre-existing health conditions – this is very important, especially if something happens!
· Emergency contact(s)
· Quirks e.g. barking at the TV
· Vet details and…
· Anything else that maybe important to your pet
At the meet and greet, observe how the pet sitter interacts with your furry (or scaly, feathery, etc.!) family member. If they mesh well, you can relax knowing that it is a good fit. If there is tension initially, don’t stress! Sometimes it can take a little while for pets to get used to a new person caring for them. In this situation, simply ask about the pet sitter’s experience with these situations, and see how well they handle the question.
By the way, not only is it important for your pet to get along with your pet sitter… You need to have a good feeling about them too! Checking the sitter’s background, experience, and certifications can help calm any nerves you might have about entrusting your pet to their care.
How to prepare your pet for a pet sitter tip # 2: Provide familiar items for your pet
If your pet is being pet minded away from home (i.e. at your pet sitter’s house), make sure you send along your pet’s:
· Food and water bowls
· Food and treats
Sudden changes in their environment may make them nervous about being away from home. Therefore, having these items accompany your pet will significantly reduce their stress levels. In addition, you may consider buying new pet toys. The novelty may help to distract them from the fact that they are somewhere new!
How to prepare your pet for a pet sitter tip # 3: Family and friends
If you are asking a friend or family member to care for your pet, here’s a checklist for them to follow:
· Leave a light on – energy saving bulbs do not use much electricity, and your pet will appreciate being able to see where they’re going!
· Refresh the water bowl – pet bowl water can get mucky pretty quickly, so change this daily!
· Keep to your pet’s feeding schedule – keeping to their routine will help them feel more secure
· Interact with your pet – e.g. hugs, cuddles, play, and talk to them. Yes, pets do enjoy conversation!
· Clean litter tray or their poop daily – wouldn’t want nasty surprises when you return home, would you?
· Pack away valuables and breakables they might able to break, eat, or destroy. Unfortunately, our pets don’t understand how much you paid for that gold necklace or priceless vase!
How to prepare your pet for a pet sitter BONUS tips: Older & younger pets
For older pets, ensure that a pet sitter, friend, or family member comes and checks on them at least once per day. Older pets (especially cats) can be fine by themselves for a certain amounts of time, but they still need company to stay mentally healthy. In addition, as stated before, make sure your pet sitter knows about any pre-existing health conditions so they are prepared.
Kittens or puppies that are 4 months or younger need to be checked on at least twice per day, as they are more vulnerable should anything happen.
Conclusion: How to prepare your pet for a pet sitter
Before you go on your holiday, let your pet meet the pet sitter and see how they get along. If sending your pet to another person’s home, ensure that they have familiar items. Finally, if your family or friends are checking on your pet, provide a list of tasks for them to follow to ensure your pet is comfortable.
If you need a professional pet sitter, feel free to contact me today!