Usually when we go on a short trip we take our rescue dog Lulu to the kennel. This works well for anywhere from one to three nights away from home. While we believe she is under responsible care at the kennel (which is under our veterinarian service), we know she doesn’t receive much one-on-one attention, does not receive walks and spends most of her days in a dog crate. And when we do this, we do not leave any pet sitter instructions.
Pet Sitter Instructions
While this is safe for her I’m sure she is isn’t too happy while she is there. Typically she refuses meals or will only eat half her normal dog food, which is California Natural Grain-Free dog food. There are more expensive kenneling options, and ones with socialization, walks and doggy daycare under camera – but a hefty price comes with this luxurious service.
A few summers ago, when we decided to take a week long vacation, we asked family if they could watch Lulu. We asked family members who have pet sat before, have been around Lulu a lot and who Lulu seems to enjoy. They do not have a dog of their own but have had them in the past – which was also reassuring.
In preparation for Lulu’s stay I wrote up guidelines on how to care for her. Today I am sharing a few ideas to include on your tip sheet for pet sitter instructions. This can be helpful for pets staying overnight, for an extended period of time or even a pet sitter who agrees to come to your home to check on your animal – instead of taking them under their own wing.
Tips for Writing Pet Sitter Instructions
• Include Directions on Any Commands or Training Your Pet Has. Written explanation of commands is important, especially if there is an emergency and your pet needs to “come” back to the pet sitter. Showing physical hand signs in person is also helpful. If your pet sitters follow some of your routine commands your pet may also feel more at home hearing familiar commands during your absence.
• Share an Outline of Your Pet’s Daily Routine. Dogs in particular, are creatures of habit. While it wasn’t necessary for her normal routine to be followed exact, following it at least somewhat would provide Lulu comfort. If that daily routine includes a walk, be sure to pack your dog’s collar and leash (I recommend a 6-foot nylon leash).
• If Your Pet is Traveling to their Caretaker, Bring Familiar Surroundings. From your dog crate, to bedding and toys (Lulu loves her Bowsers Microvelvet Donut Dog Bed and her Loofa Plush Dog Toy), bring objects they are familiar with and use during daily life. This will also help keep them in their routine and feel more at home in a strange place.
• Include Contact Information for Your Veterinarian. Include the vet’s name, address, phone number and hours of operation – just in case.
• Stay Accessible. Because we have a pet, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving town for a full week and turning off our phones. What if there was an emergency or question? We decided to take one cell phone with us and keep it on for emergency only.
• Include Information on Allergies, Special Needs, Etc. If your pet takes medication, has allergies or any other special needs, be sure to communicate them as well.