You’re off on holiday soon – things you need to remember and plan for your house sitter before you go
You’ve probably been planning your annual vacation or weekend away, for some time deciding what you need to pack into your suitcase. If you’re leaving your pet behind, in the capable hands of Finchley Dog Walker, I would suggest that you read and tick off these important points regarding the health and safety, and any special needs of your dog or cat, or other small animals that I’m taking care of, to ensure that your beloved pets receive our top priority, first class care and attention.
Put together an information pack
You probably already have a file containing your dog or cat’s pedigree details, health information, vaccination certificates, but there are other details that will be helpful to us in the event of an emergency, and of course, handy in the years to come. A sturdy folder containing A4 plastic wallets is very useful for storing these documents.
- Up to date vaccination certificates
- Microchip ID information
- Medical information – including dates of last de-worming and de-flea treatments
- Your preferred Vet’s contact information
- An up to date photograph of your pet that could be used for identification if necessary
- Details/maps of any permitted dog walking areas and parks that you usually walk in
Information for your Pet Sitter
The more information you can provide regarding your pet, his likes and habits, will result in a better care package provided by your pet sitter. Please be as honest as you can and let me know if your dog is antisocial towards other dogs, is due to come into season, or even if he runs away when off the lead. It’s much better if I am pre-warned to expect any eventuality. You can always print out this page and complete your answers on here, to add information to your pack.
- Important routines – mealtimes, sleeping, playing and exercising
- Any special diet – when do they eat and what amounts of food
- Treats – do you permit treats, and how many
- Any health problems such as old injuries or allergies
- Do you have an emergency care plan – which Vet – how will you make payment for treatment
- Favourite toys – where are they and treats kept
- Any unusual habits – does your puppy pee when excited, or hide their toys
- Any anxieties or phobias
- Any parts of your home off limits to the animals
- In the event of an emergency on your house sitter’s part – do you have another contact, a friend or boarding kennels who would care for your pet
Please make sure you have sufficient supplies in stock plus extras in case you are delayed on your return. Please leave these items on display where I can easily find them.
- Feeding and water bowls
- Sufficient food for main meals and any treats
- Medication for anything you wish me to dose, including flea and worm treatments
- Toys including chasing, tugging and chewing indoor toys.
- Outdoor equipment including harness or lead, muzzle, towels and play equipment
- Collar with current ID tag and microchip identification
- Basket or dog bed
- Pet cleaning supplies such as towels, brushes, clippers and medicated shampoo
- House cleaning supplies including brushes, floor mop, floor cleaner and rubbish bags
- Equipment for animal waste collection such as poop bags, scooper, cat litter trays and gloves
Preparations for your pet before you go
Take a short while to prepare a few items for your pets, then you can relax knowing they are in safe and secure hands during your absence.
- Ensure that your pet is in the best of health and deal with any obvious problems
- Make sure you dog will walk happily on a lead and that his collar will not slip off, nor be too tight
- Ensure that each pet has an ID tag with contact number attached to a collar
- Have a current photograph of each of your pets highlighting any distinctive features
- Try to have your pet sitter make your dog or cat’s acquaintance before you leave
Preparations for your home
In your pet’s interests, it’s a good idea if you can “pet proof” your home so that there are no obvious hazards around the house.
- Remove anything that could potentially harm your dog or cat. Obvious dangers include medicines, alcohol, chocolate, tobacco and cleaning products, but others items that they may find interesting are ribbon and string, firewood, pine needles, tinsel and other decorations around the house.
- Pet proof your garage, or ideally lock the door. There are many dangerous substances such as pesticides, antifreeze, slug pellets and poisons.
- Make sure that your boundary fences and gates are in good condition and there are no escape routes.
- Remove any household appliances that may cause a potential hazard that your house sitter will not need to use. Please don’t remove your kettle!
- Place for easy access your cleaning materials, including rubbish bags, gloves, dustpan and sweeping brush, mop and vacuum cleaner plus any cleaning disinfectants.
- It’s a comfort to your pet if there is an article of your worn clothing that they can snuggle up to – a reminder of their lovely owner.