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The Ultimate Checklist for Your Dog Sitter

We wish we could bring our pets everywhere! But unfortunately, some vacations and short get aways are not dog-friendly, like that relaxing all-inclusive resort to celebrate your anniversary?

When you must leave your dog behind, there are many doggie care options. You can board them, but that might not be the best move for your dog if he is skiddish, a wild puppy, or a cranky older dog who is set in his ways. In these cases, a dog sitter might be your best bet. And it might be the cheaper option if you can find a responsible neighborhood teenager looking for some extra cash.

Dog in a haystack
PC: @johnramsay1979

If you decide to hire a dog sitter to come over during the day and take care of your dog, make sure she is equipped. We recommend leaving a detailed list of emergency numbers, instructions, do’s and dont’s, and maybe even cash in case your dog runs out of food!

Follow our checklist to give Lassie the five-star care she deserves from a dog sitter!

1. Emergency numbers. Leave a list of contact numbers including your veterinarian, a helpful neighbor, and your phone numbers (leave the number where you will be staying as well).

2. Household things. List any security codes the sitter will need to get in and out of the house, a list of visitors that might come by like a house cleaner, TV or cable instructions, and what days the trash and recycling will be picked up.

3. Write down directions for food and water (quantity and time) plus make sure the dishes are out.

4. Print out our blog post listing toxic food for dogs to have on hand for your pet sitter.

5. Are you training your dog or do you give a treat for going potty? Be sure to leave treats in an obvious place.

6. List any medications or allergies your dog has and instructions. Maybe even leave a first aid kit out just in case.

Pug - dog sitting
PC: @pugmopsturkey

7. Leave a list of commands that you use for your dog. Do you use “down” or “off” to communicate “don’t jump up” with your dog?

8. Make sure chew toys are clean and located in one place.

9. Leave leash, collar, and brush out.

10. Tell your dog sitter what signs your dog uses to go out? Does he ring a bell or just use a doggie door?

11. Make a list of “off-limit” items like the couch or the beds.

12. Make sure your dog sitter has 2 or 3 clean blankets or towels for your dog’s bed or to clean up messes!

13. Consider putting something with your scent in their bed or crate to give your dog comfort while you’re away.

14. Make sure you leave any helpful notes about your dog. Is he afraid of children? Is there a certain street that you should avoid when taking a walk? Is there a dog in the neighborhood that your dog LOVES and plays with on a regular basis?

15. What about her exercise routine and games she loves? Make a list of the top games and exercises your dog enjoys so your dog sitter can play, play, play!

16. Consider leaving $25 in an envelope in case your dog sitter needs to purchase any supplies while you are away like extra treats if your dog “accidentally” gets into them!

17. Suggest that your dog sitter sends daily text or photo updates!

Don’t worry about your dog while you’re away. Make sure your dog sitter has anything and everything he needs to give your dog the five-star care she deserves.