Preparing Information for Your Pet Sitter

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Are you starting to make spring break plans? If your spring getaway doesn’t include your dog, you may be relying on the services of a pet sitter to care for your dog in the comfort of your home. Pet sitters can be a great option for dogs who would prefer to remain at home rather than in a boarding facility or traveling with you.

Whether your pet sitter is a trusted family member or friend or a professional sitter, you’ll need to gather certain information before you leave, regardless of the length of your trip. Not only is this information important for your sitter but take an extra copy with you in case you should need to call a back-up sitter during your trip due to illness or an accident.

For every trip, leave this information in a visible place for your pet sitter:

  • your cell phone number
  • your trip itinerary including the phone number for your hotel(s)
  • your veterinarian’s name, address, and telephone number
  • an emergency veterinarian’s name, address, and telephone number as well as a map or directions on how to get there from your home
  • an authorization that you have pre-signed giving approval for emergency veterinary care. (Do a quick online search for “emergency veterinary authorization” for templates you can use to create this authorization.)
  • feeding instructions
  • instructions for administering all your dog’s medications
  • instructions for walking and playing with your dog including a list of your dog’s favorite games and toys
  • contact information for your nearest neighbors including their phone numbers, in case your dog should get lost
  • the microchip number of your dog as well as the URL of the subscription service where his microchip number is registered
  • two photos of your dog in case he is lost: a head shot and a body profile shot
  • the name and phone number of an alternate pet sitter in case your pet sitter becomes ill or has a personal emergency

Although it seems like a lot of information to gather, you’ll only need to compile most of this information once, simply updating your itinerary for future trips. The time you spend gathering information can help give you peace of mind on your travels—and make sure your dog has the care he needs to have a good time while you’re gone as well.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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