Skip to main content

Do these 6 things to make it easy on your pet sitter when you travel

When you’re going on vacation or have to take a business trip, leaving your fur babies alone is difficult as a pet parent. However, if you have a good pet sitter, you’ll be much less concerned for your pets while you’re away. You can find a great pet sitter through word-of-mouth referrals from your veterinarian, groomer, friends, and neighbors. Whether you’re using a sitter you’ve worked with before or trying someone new, there are a few steps you can take to make the process much easier for your pets and your pet sitter. Here are some of our favorite pet sitter tips. 

An orange tabby cat in a chair.
Hier und jetzt endet leider meine Reise auf Pixabay aber/Pixabay

Make sure there’s a proper introduction

If your pet is nervous around strangers, the most important step is introducing him to his sitter before you leave home. Allow your pet to spend time with the sitter while you’re there to keep him calm. When your pet sees you interacting with the sitter and treating them like they belong there, he’ll be much more likely to warm up to them. That doesn’t mean every pet will warm up to every single sitter. In addition to your pet’s comfort and safety, you can’t ask a pet sitter to risk their health on the job. If your pet suddenly becomes aggressive when you open the door to the sitter and never settles down, it’s not going to be a good fit. 

Make sure your sitter has notes

While many sitters do this automatically, it’s important to either have your sitter take notes on your pet’s habits, likes, dislikes, and medications or provide them yourself. This is especially important if you have any pets with special needs or allergies. After all, you don’t want your sitter bringing a treat from home if your fur baby has a food intolerance or allergy.

If your pet is on medication or supplements, your sitter will need to know when to administer them. This could require multiple visits in a day, or you may want to ask if your sitter is willing to stay in your home while you’re away. We suggest that you make sure your sitter is insured and bonded, especially if they’ll be staying in your home. Choosing an insured, bonded sitter offers you protection in the event of accidents, negligence, damages, and theft. Lastly, contact information is a must. If your pet falls ill, your sitter needs to know how to reach you, and they’ll need to know how to get in touch with your veterinarian. 

A brown and white dog watching a sunset beside a red haired woman.
Sven Lachmann/Pixabay

Stick to a routine

Pets do well when they know what to expect day to day, especially dogs. Having a set routine also makes things much easier for your sitter. Just like you, pet sitters lead busy lives, and they could be juggling multiple clients in a day. It’s much easier for them to know they need to walk the dogs at set times than to wonder when they should drop by. Your pets will be much happier if they’re fed and walked at the same time as usual than they will be if they have to adjust to a new routine in addition to the absence of their favorite human. 

Make sure you have plenty of supplies

Sometimes out-of-town meetings run longer than expected, flights get delayed due to inclement weather, or you get caught in traffic. Be sure you have enough of your pet’s food, treats, and medications to last for longer than you plan to be away from home just in case an emergency arises.  

Consider calming aids

If your pet has a favorite toy or scratching post, make sure he’ll have access to it while you’re gone. You may want to invest in pheromone diffusers, which can help relieve stress. Some pets enjoy music, so leaving the radio or television on while you’re away — especially if you leave it on for them while you’re at work — can help them feel more settled. Having music or the television on also gives the impression that your home is currently occupied, making the risk of break-ins lower. Many nervous pets also do well with compression garments, which anecdotal evidence suggests may calm anxiety. Try out different methods of calming your pet before you leave town to make sure they work. The day before your big trip isn’t the best time to try out something new.

A small brown dog being held by someone wearing a plaid jacket.
Moshe Harosh/Pixabay

Don’t be afraid to stay in touch

It’s your pet sitter’s job to keep your fur baby safe and happy while you’re away, so don’t feel like you’re a nuisance if you call for a check-in. You can ask your sitter for photo updates or possibly chat with them — and your pet — on a video call. Leaving your pet behind is never fun, but with a trusted pet sitter on hand, you’ll feel much better knowing your pet is in the comfort of his own home with a trusted professional watching over him. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
Does your dog drink a lot of water? Here’s when you should be concerned
It's usually just the weather, but you should look for signs of dehydration or excess thirst
A pug drinking water from a sink faucet

Ensuring your furry best friend gets plenty of water is one of the most important parts of being a pet parent. But how much water should your dog drink on a daily basis? Veterinarians claim the general rule of thumb is a simple equation: The majority of dogs require around 1/2 to 1 ounce (about 1/8 of a cup) of water per pound of body weight each day. Don't want to reach for your measuring cup? Make sure your pup has round-the-clock access to clean water, and everything should be fine.

That being said, if your dog empties their water bowl several times a day, or you notice their intake has increased drastically, you should probably keep a close eye on things. If your dog drinks a lot of water, you may be wondering, "Why is my dog always thirsty?" We'll share how to monitor your pup's water intake, the most common reasons your dog may be thirsty, and when you should speak with your vet.

Read more
Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog? Everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed
Belgian Malinois breed description, family behavior, and more
A Belgian Malinois leaps through a meadow of dandelions

If you're considering opening up your home to a new four-legged family member, there may be a lot of thoughts swimming through your mind. This is totally normal. Bringing home a new pet is a big change, so it's only natural (and responsible) to think through every aspect of the decision before you commit. One thing you may be considering is which dog breed would be best for your home. Although you may not be able to hand-pick your perfect breed when adopting a pet from a shelter, knowing a bit about the most common dog breeds can help you make an informed choice.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed often seen in cities, suburbs, and farms, though it's often mistaken for an entirely different dog -- the German shepherd. While they are related, these breeds are completely separate from one another. Familiarizing yourself with Belgian Malinois characteristics and traits will help you decide whether this may be a breed for your family, but first, we'll have to ask -- is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?
Let's find out everything there is to know about this strong and loyal dog breed.

Belgian Malinois breed characteristics

Read more
What fish can live with bettas? These are your best bets for fish buddies
Bettas can't live with one another so you should look to other species for friendship
Blue betta fish staring at the camera

Betta fish are known for being territorial, feisty, rather combative, and therefore not great tank mates in general. This reputation, however, only holds true in particular situations and with certain fish friends. Male betta fish are aggressive, but only with other male bettas, so it is important to never put two males in the same tank. It will lead to tail-nipping behavior and other aggressive actions. So, what fish can live with bettas?

Happily, there are several other fish that can keep your betta company in a safe and non-aggressive environment. Many colorful, friendly fish cohabitate well with bettas. This is our guide to finding the perfect fish companion (or companions) for your betta.

Read more