Before you leave your dog in the care of a professional dog sitter, did you know there are things you can do before you go away to help ensure you will return to a happy dog and a well-cared for home? For starters, before meeting with your dog sitter for the first time, they should have you complete a detailed profile. The profile should include information on your pups personality, details for feeding your dog, habits on walks, medical information, home care information, favorite toys, and daily routines that you would like your dog sitter to follow. Then be sure your dog sitter sets up a time to come over for a consultation. The consultation will give you the opportunity to meet your dog sitter in person to make sure they are the right fit for you and your dog. This will also allow them to review your profile with you to get any missing details and so you can show them everything in person. Did you know there are other things you can do before you leave to help make sure the visits go smoothly while you are away?
Check out our top 15 list of things to leave readily accessible to help you dog sitter for the visits.
- In case your trip gets extended, provide more food then your dog will need for the number of days you will be away.
- If needed, leave out a can opener, utensils, and additional serving plates or bowls.
- Leave a clear list of your dog’s medications. Include instructions on dosage, timing, and how to give the medication to your dog. If your dog doesn’t take his/her pills easily Greenies Pill Pockets can be a great solution for hiding pills. They come in multiple flavors and they even have an duck version for dogs with allergies.
- Leave enough medication to last not only while you are away but in case your return is delayed.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an identification tag that has your current contact information.
- Leave out your dogs’ leash, harness and/or any other dog walking accessories that may be needed. If your leash is fraying or has any tears in it, replace it with a sturdy nylon leash that won’t break.
- Do not leave a retractable leash for your dog sitter. Retractable leashes can be dangerous. For more information on retractable leashes, read this article on Why We Don’t Like The Retractable Leash: The Pros and Cons.
- Leave plenty of poop bags for the walks if your sitter isn’t providing them and leave a pooper scooper outside for keeping your yard clean.
- If walks will be provided at night when it is dark, leave a working flashlight.
- Leave out your dogs favorite toys and treats.
- If your dog likes to be brushed or if you like your dog brushed to control shedding, leave out a brush.
- Leave plenty of wee wee pads and cleaning supplies if your dog may have accidents.
- In the event your dog gets wet or dirty on walks, let your dog sitter know where you keep towels for your dog.
- Give your dog sitter your itinerary with your contact information and emergency contacts.
- If needed, leave out a mail key for bringing in the daily mail.
By doing the above aside from completing a profile and meeting with your dog sitter before you leave, it will make it easier for your dog sitter to give your dog the best care in your absence. This will help make for happy a pooch and a nice clean home upon your return.
Did you find our list helpful? What additional preparations do you take before leaving your pups in the care of a professional dog sitter?
I would add that it is always good to leave the name and contact information for your veterinarian in the event of an emergency. In some situations, especially with older dogs, it can be necessary to make quick decisions about treatment in which case you should have someone authorized to treat your dog if you cannot be reached.
Thank you for adding that it is important to leave the veterinarian’s contact information. We ask for this in each clients detailed profile and for the contact information for their after hours emergency veterinarian. This is very important information for the dog sitter.
I should call this the Perfect 15 😉 Very helpful tips. Thank you
Thank you for the awesome feedback! We are so glad you think this is the ‘Perfect 15’.
I was going to mention leaving the vet’s number too, or an emergency contact number in case you can’t get in touch with the owners right away. It’s an excellent list. I can’t think of anything else that you’ve missed! Thank you! (Oh, I write about animals too, if you’d like to stop by my blog for a visit.) All the best!
I have a pet rabbit!
Maybe you could do one for ‘rabbit sitters’
Hi Jeanne, thank you for letting us know you like our list. Thank you for leaving your website so we can check out your articles.
Thank you for the suggestion for a future article. 🙂
If I am having a professional dog sitter take care of my dog should I feel guilty about leaving him? I know the sitter well and totally trust her but I’m going to be gone for 5 days and have only left him overnight for one night before. I’m going on a business trip that I can’t avoid . Am I worried unnecessarily?
Hi Lynn, we know it can be challenging to leave your dog when you travel but you can’t avoid the business trip. If you have a professional dog sitter you know and trust, your dog should be in great hands. If you ask for daily email updates with pictures of your pup that will help give you peace of mind while you are away. When I go away, our dog sitters always do an awesome job taking care of our dogs and home. I think it’s natural that you feel bad about leaving your dog but you may be unnecessarily worried.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The world of dog walking and pet sitting is unregulated in most areas so anyone can potentially call themselves a professional Dog Walker or Pet Sitter.
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I am most captivated with your tip to leave enough medication that will last not only while you are away but in case your return is delayed. I will be having a business trip soon, and your tips are really helpful because I won’t be able to bring my dog with me. I should look for a local in home dog sitting so I can start the preparation.