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How to Find the Best In-Home Pet Sitter Before Your Next Trip

by Jose Sierra The Insured Pet
February 20, 2023

Dog looking at the camera

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Traveling without your pet is often necessary, and preparing for a pet sitter to stay in your home is an excellent way to keep you both comfortable. Follow this guide from The Insured Pet to prepare for your next solo trip.

Find the Best Pet Sitter

Finding a great pet sitter starts with doing your research. Because pet sitting doesn’t require a license or special qualifications, building a relationship with your pet’s caregiver is essential. Start with an online search on reliable websites or through professional pet-sitting organizations. Then, the Humane Society recommends interviewing to learn more about the potential hire and how they interact with your furry friend. Not only should your sitter be able to connect with your pet, but they should also be trained for emergencies. Knowing pet CPR, for example, is an excellent qualification that helps pet parents stress less.

Stock Up on Food and Treats

Helping your pet and caregiver feel comfortable at home is the priority while you’re away. Prepare for your absence by stocking up on pet food and treats. High-quality food may not help your pet miss you less, but it will keep them fed and healthy. If you’re looking for all-beef dog food, try air-dried instead of wet food for maximum nutrients. Consider picking up extra treats for your good boy or girl, and let your pet sitter know how much (and when) to give them.

Provide Pet Sitter Essentials

Apart from some snacks while they stay at your place, what else should you leave for your pet sitter? For starters, write down emergency contact information, details about your pet’s dietary needs, allergies, or medicines, and notes on their regular habits or routine. Make sure collars, leashes, waste bags, and other daily necessities are easily available. Leave clear instructions for your sitter, too, on what your household rules are for your pet. Sticking to the same rules and routine can maintain normalcy for your critter while you’re away and even reduce stress.

Keep Your Home Secure

Inviting someone into your home to stay a few days and look after your pet can be a bit nerve-wracking. If you have lingering concerns after interviewing and getting to know your pet sitter, add some security strategies to your vacation planning. If your home already has smart locks, Schlage recommends setting access schedules to avoid handing out keys; a unique passcode expires after your vacation ends. Creating a separate guest network on your WiFi protects your home network. You can even use smart switches to auto-time lights for home security that your pet sitter doesn’t have to worry about. Technology can also help you stay connected with your pet, though it may not be ideal to video or voice chat your pup specifically, according to PopSugar’s experts. Video calls can be an intense experience for dogs whose vision is better than humans, and if your pet has anxiety, hearing you could make it worse.

Have a Backup Plan

Checking in with your pet sitter at regular intervals ensures everything is good at home. Having a backup plan offers further peace of mind—and a failsafe if something goes wrong. Asking a friend to check in or having a neighbor stop by provides reassurance to concerned pet parents. If an emergency happens, that third party can help your pet sitter or take over if needed. Another just-in-case measure to alleviate worry is pet insurance. Investing in pet insurance adds a layer of protection if your pet gets sick or needs veterinary care. Give your pet sitter your vet and insurance plan details to cover those what-if situations. In addition, leave them a written note (or even a power of attorney letter), says the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ expert, to avoid delays in emergency care. Though hiring a great pet sitter is the first step, equipping them to care for your furry friend involves a few more to-do list items. From stocking up on high-quality pet food before you leave to checking in with your sitter from afar, each step you take helps make your pet’s staycation better.

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Tags: Dog Owner, Dog Safety, Older Dogs Care, Passionate Pet Owner, Passionate Pet Parent, Pet Safety

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