As many of you may know I am a dog sitter so it felt suiting I help a brother/sister out and write out a prep list for y’all.
This list is geared for none-agency/self employed sitters, that’s what I am so that’s what I know and I’m not sure how different things are for agencies. Also the majority of my jobs entail staying at the owner’s home and since that involves the most prepping that’s what the focus will be. Although most of these still apply to people bringing dogs to stay at the sitter’s house and just the simple day jobs as well so you should all find it helpful.
- If you haven’t already, meet the sitter. This is important for both of your sakes. For starters is can be unnerving leaving your home and your fur baby in the hands of a stranger but it can also be scary for the sitter to be staying alone in a strangers house, so it’s comforting to get a feel of each other. Plus you want to make sure the sitter doesn’t just suck as a human being.
Its also good for the pet to meet the sitter to make sure they’re a good match and the dog will feel less like a stranger is intruding their home while you’re gone.
Last this is a good time to verbally go over the instructions, show them where to find everything and give them a tour of the house.
- Give them a key. Duh. Furthermore tell them where to put it when they leave if you don’t plan on them being there when you get home. The garage, lock box, under a lawn ornament, etc.
- Leave typed instructions. This is one of the most important items on this list. You’d be surprised how many don’t. Below I’ll include all the things that should be on those instructions.
-Walk schedule if needed.
-Medicine instructions if need.
-Basically anything they need to do, write it down. Whether it’s brushing your dog, getting the mail, taking out trash, anything.
-Your WiFi info. This one is often forgotten and is extra sad for me since I’m usually working on AWR while I’m there.
-Security System code and what not if you have one.
-Garage code, it sounds silly but it’s always better to leave too much info than not enough.
-Contact Info for you and someone else on your trip with you in case we can’t reach you and It’s an emergency.
-Contact list of people in town who can help in case of emergencies.
-Vet info, name, number, and address.
-Where you’re staying and their information. An if you’re an overachiever you could even leave you’re flight information so we know what time you’re getting in and we can check if your flight is on time.
-Your address, it sounds weird since they’re already at your house but sometimes it comes in handy like when you’re ordering pizza and they don't have your address memorized. Mmmm. Pizza.
- Clarify your preference on whether they have someone come over. Staying at a house for a week with zero human interaction can make you go a tad crazy so sometimes we like company. However we fully understand if you prefer it being just us in the house, it’s just good to clarify.
Unless you’re having your teenage neighbor kid dog sit for you, you don’t generally have to worry about parties. If you’re hiring an actual sitter, the majority of us take our job pretty seriously and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize their integrity and reputation. Tops they would have one friend come by with your permission for some good ‘ole human contact.
Although it’s just not meeting a new client unless they crack the classic, “no parties!” joke. 9/10 clients say it. It’s basically tradition at this point.
- This one is more of a tip… Leave your washer and dryer empty. I don’t know it it’s just me (although I think it should be all) but I wash the sheets and towels I used before you come home. That is unless the washer and dryer have stuff in them.
- Tell your sitter about any strange traits/about your dog's personality in general. This is important so the sitter can recognize if they’re doing anything out of the norm. Like maybe your dog has lots on energy but they’ve been sluggish the whole time they’ve been sitting. Unless you told them that your dog being sluggish is out of character they have no way of knowing. They wouldn’t think anything of the dog being chill because for some dogs that is their norm. Make sense?
Another example is I always tell people when they sit for me (yes sometimes the dog sitter needs a dog sitter) about Petie’s wheezing fits. As long as it doesn’t go on with out stopping she’s totally fine but if I didn’t tell the sitter that, they’d probably flip and make an unnecessary vet visit.
- Tell them how your pup gets along with other dogs and people. This is very important, especially if they are going to be taking them on walks.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to be too prepared and leave to much information than not enough. It makes life easier for everyone.