Here are some ideas on questions you may want to ask:
· What experience or knowledge do you have when it comes to working with animals?
· How often will you send me updates? Can you also send me pictures or videos of my pet?
· Do you feel comfortable with security cameras on the property?
· If my pet needs medication given, do you feel comfortable giving medications? (Especially find out if they have experience giving injections, if your pet is diabetic, for instance.)
· How long will you be spending time with my pet(s)? How often will they be walked or played with?
According to PetHub, they recommend these 7 important questions:
- Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
- Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
- Does the pet sitter provide client references?
- Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
- Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
- How do you ensure my dog (or cat) does not go missing in your care?
- Do you have a plan in the event that my dog (or cat) goes missing?
When it comes to concern about your pet getting lost while you are out of town, here is a list of things to consider:
· It is highly recommended to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date. If you don’t know how to update your pet’s microchip information, contact your veterinarian and they can scan your pet to find the microchip, write down the microchip number and direct you on who to contact to update the information.
· If your pet wears a collar, are their tags up to date?
· Is your pet a runner? Should your pet sitter be on-guard when opening doors to the outside?
· Is your backyard fenced in and safe? Does your pet know how to open doors or gates?
Once you’ve found your pet sitter, now what? Most pet sitting companies or individual pet sitters will have a list of questions they will save for when they are booked to watch your pet. Their questionnaire will most likely go over emergency contact information, feeding instructions, medication instructions, any notes for special care needs, etc.But it is good to also have similar paperwork somewhere in the home for them to refer to in case their notes gets lost, or they cannot access online sources.
Ideas of what to include on a sheet(s) of paper or in a packet may be:
· General information: feeding/walks/special care instructions, alarm codes, alerts, etc.
· List which veterinary hospital and what veterinarian usually sees your pet(s). And if it is not a 24-hour hospital, list which emergency hospital you prefer. It is also a suggestion to contact your primary vet hospital to give them notice if you want your pet sitter to be listed in your chart as someone authorized to bring in your pet for treatment.
· Make sure the first aid kit in your house is fully stocked and notate where it will be kept in the house.
· Do you know your itinerary for your trip? You can leave that information such as what hotel you will be staying at with their phone number, and what time your flight arrives home.
· Contact numbers for you and the people you’re traveling with as well as any local friends/family/neighbors that you trust to help out in case an emergency comes up while you are out of town.
· Extra cash in an envelope for purchases needed such as more pet food. Or if you have a retail online account, you can always order pet supplies online to be shipped and let your pet sitter know when the package has been delivered to the house.
· Is there a spare key somewhere? If not in the house, is there someone local that has a spare key in case of emergencies?
For more great ideas on instructions your pet sitter should be aware of, click the link below:
Are there certain signs that my pet sitter should watch for
when it comes to my pet’s health?
when it comes to my pet’s health?
"Each pet may have their own special habits that would be good to share with a pet sitter. If you know your pet also behaves differently when you are away, let your pet sitter know what to expect. If your pet deviates significantly from their expected behavior (e.g. doesn’t eat when they always eat, or sleeps more than they used to, or is having accidents in the house but has not been known to do that before, etc.) they can alert you to these changes and together you can decide if they are worth seeking medical attention for, or come up with ways to alleviate the anxiety or whatever might be causing the changes. Often changes in a pet’s normal behavior can be very telling that something could be wrong, and it is important not to dismiss these changes as just being due to the change in caregiver.
If your pet is on regular medication, it is helpful to not only list out the medications, dosages and frequencies, but to also prepare filled pill boxes in advance for your sitter. If you are to be gone longer than a week, they can refill them, but it helps everyone to remember whether or not medication has been given or not.
Lastly, if something is concerning to your pet sitter, they should be comfortable contacting you to discuss it, and/or calling your veterinarian to consult with them. Most things are best addressed as they happen, rather than waiting until your return.
Once you have made adequate preparations, you will be able to relax and enjoy your trip knowing your pet is in good hands! Happy travels!" -Dr. Gloria Ku