Guide to Preparing Your Pets and Home for a Pet Sitter

Written by: Loren Seldner



Time to read 4 min

With your travel arrangements in order and a trusted local pet sitter in place, the next step is to guarantee the utmost readiness for your furry friends and your abode during their temporary care. Continue reading for in-depth guidance on effectively prepping your pets and living environment to welcome the arrival of your chosen pet sitter. This comprehensive advice will equip you with the knowledge needed to create a seamless and secure experience for all parties involved.

Preparing Your Pets for a Pet Sitter

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Craft Individual Bios for Your Fur-Babies

Before the pet sitter's arrival, compile a detailed list highlighting each pet's preferences, idiosyncrasies, and requirements. Whether it's Daisy needing assistance with stairs or Max's aversion to the doggy door, providing these insights will make the pet sitter's job smoother and ensure your pets remain calm and content during your absence.


Outline Daily Routines

Develop a structured timetable detailing feeding times, medication schedules, regular bathroom breaks, and sleep patterns. Encouraging the pet sitter to maintain your pets' established routines will create a sense of familiarity and comfort in your absence. Make sure to communicate any potential consequences of straying from these routines, ensuring your sitter is prepared for any curveballs.


Prioritize Socialization

If this marks your first pet-sitting experience, introduce your pets to various humans to enhance their socialization. This step reduces stress for your pets and the sitter, contributing to a smoother and more harmonious pet-sitting period.


Special Care for Pets

Make sure to provide comprehensive instructions covering feeding, handling, socialization, exercise, and maintaining appropriate environmental conditions. This includes having a complete pet first-aid kit.  While choosing an experienced sitter is crucial, detailing your pet's specific needs remains essential. 

Making Your Pet Sitter Feel at Home

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Familiarize the Sitter with Your Home

Before departing, offer a comprehensive tour of your residence, highlighting off-limits areas and any specific instructions for appliance use. Provide details about your mailbox, locks, thermostat, cleaning supplies, and other essentials.


Organize Pet Supplies

Arrange your pets' necessities, such as food, leashes, medication, toys, and treats, in an easily accessible location. For larger or more agile pets, think creatively to keep these items within reach while ensuring potentially harmful items are secured.


Maintain a Tidy Environment 

Extend courtesy to your pet sitter by ensuring a clean and tidy space. Dispose of trash and ensure rooms the sitter will access are neat and organized.


Discuss Housekeeping Expectations 

If the sitter's stay extends over several days, communicate your expectations regarding housekeeping. Be transparent about laundry or cleaning tasks and provide guidance on using appliances.


Emergency Contacts 

Compile a list of crucial phone numbers and addresses for emergencies, including your primary vet, nearby emergency clinics, your landlord (if applicable), and close friends or family members. Ensure multiple copies are available for the sitter.

Establish House Rules

The clearer you are about your expectations, and the do's and don'ts in your house, the better the experience will be. Remember: communication is the key to successful pet-sitting. Here are some examples of the rules you can enforce:


  • No Pets on Furniture: If you prefer your pets to stay off the furniture, make it clear that they are not allowed to jump on couches, beds, or chairs.


  • Restricted Areas: Specify which rooms or areas of the house are off-limits to pets and the pet sitter. This could include bedrooms, home offices, or certain storage spaces.


  • Meal Times and Locations: Outline where and when your pets should be fed, as well as any dietary restrictions or specific feeding routines.


  • Treat Guidelines: Provide instructions on when and how treats can be given to your pets, ensuring they don't get excessive treats during your absence.


  • Leash Policy: If your pet needs to be walked, specify whether they should be leashed at all times, where they should be walked, and any behavior expectations during walks.


  • Medication Administration: Clearly explain how to administer any necessary medications, including dosage, frequency, and any special instructions.


  • Grooming Instructions: If your pets require grooming, detail the grooming routine, including brushing, bathing, and any specific grooming products to use.


  • Crate or Confinement: If your pets need to be crated or confined during certain times, provide guidance on when and for how long, as well as any special instructions for crate setup.


  • Litter Box Maintenance: For cats, outline how often litter boxes should be cleaned and where waste should be disposed of.


  • Security Measures: Specify how to securely lock doors and windows when entering or leaving the house to ensure your pets' safety.


  • Appliance Usage: If the pet sitter needs to use household appliances (e.g., washing machine, dishwasher), provide guidelines and any specific instructions.


  • Notification Policy: Outline how frequently you'd like to receive updates on your pets' well-being, including methods of communication (text, email, photos).


  • Guests and Visitors: Inform the pet sitter whether any visitors or service providers (e.g., maintenance personnel) are expected during your absence and how to handle them in relation to your pets.

Ensuring Pet Comfort in Different Conditions

  • Weather conditions: If your pet sitter is responsible for outdoor activities, equip them with the necessary gear for different weather conditions. Inform them about rain gear, booties, and indoor play options in case of extreme temperatures.


  • Minimize Goodbye Drama: Avoid extended emotional farewells with your pets, as these can exacerbate separation anxiety, particularly in dogs. Keep goodbyes brief and similar to your departure for errands.

Preparing Your Yard

  • Secure the Yard: Prior to departure, inspect and mend any gaps in the fence, secure sharp garden tools, and eliminate toxic substances from the yard.


  • Address Parasites: Ensure your yard is treated for fleas, ticks, and other parasites to provide a safe environment for your pets.

Last but not Least - Selecting a Trustworthy Pet Sitter

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Choose a responsible and nurturing pet sitter who aligns with your pets' needs. Conduct careful screenings, check references, and select a sitter who will provide attentive and compassionate care.

By adhering to these comprehensive steps, you have the ability to cultivate a seamlessly smooth and utterly comfortable experience for both your beloved pets and your carefully selected pet sitter. This fosters an enhanced sense of security and overall well-being, providing reassurance throughout your absence. Now you can enjoy your time out knowing your furry friend is in good hands!

Still struggling to find a trusted pet sitter? Felicitails has partnered with Wag! for our Patients & Clients that are in need of local pet boarding services. Through our collaboration, you are able book convenient pet care in your neighborhood with the Wag! app. If you want to know more, click HERE

Stay Pawsitive!