Pet owners: Checklist of things to leave your House and Pet Sitter before you go on holiday

Pet sitter check listTo most of us, our pets are just another member of the family, they are just more loyal and don’t talk back. When you go away you want them to be as loved and well looked after as when you are home.

This is usually why you have decided to get a house sitters.

The Pet Information Pack:

Just as it essential to leave an information pack about your home, it is essential to leave an information pack for your pets. You could combine the two and have one big information pack or have two separate packs.

With pets there can be a lot of information that the pet sitter will need to know and remembering it all will prove to be difficult. Having an information pack to look through when required will be greatly appreciated.

Here are the things that you may need to include:

  • Food, Diet and Nutrition
  • Health and Well being
  • Play and exercise
  • Traits and behaviours
  • Pet supplies
  • Rules for your pets

Food, Diet and Nutrition

  • What do you feed your pet and what do you give them to drink?
  • Are there certain foods that your pet definitely cannot eat for whatever reason?
  • Is your pet on a special diet, if so what is it?
  • What times to feed your pet?
  • The methods of feeding your pet?
  • How much to feed your pet each time?
  • Where do you normally give them their food?
  • Do you give your pets any treats or snacks in between meals, if so what kinds?
  • Where do you buy food from just in case house sitter needs to get some?

Health and Well being

  • Include your pets medical history, immunisation records and registration records if possible.
  • Does your pet have a microchip or any other identification information?
  • Is your pet on any medication? If so what is it, when do you give them, how do you give it, how much do you give and where do you get it from?
  • Does your pet have any minor health problems or phobias?
  • Does your pet have ticks, fleas etc?
  • Contact information for your vet or vets close by. Also contact information for after hours animal emergency services
  • Does your pet require bathing while you are away?
  • Does your pet require grooming?

Play and Exercise

  • What exactly does your pet do in order to play and exercise? Do they have an exercise routine?
  • Does your pet require walking? If so where do you normally take them for walks and how far do you walk them? Where are the leashes kept? Can you let your pet off the lead when taking them for walks?
  • Does your pet have any toys or objects they like to play with?
  • Where does your pet usually like to play?

Traits and Behaviours

  • What is your pet’s personality? Are they friendly, noisy, playful, easily scared etc?
  • Does your pet have any habits, good or bad? E.g. likes to scratch the furniture.
  • Where does your pet normally sleep?
  • Does your pet listen to instructions? If so what are they?
  • Is your pet social or anti social? How do they react around strangers and other animals?
  • Does your pet have any places they like to hide?
  • Is your pet afraid of any appliances or house hold objects when they are turned on? e.g. vacuum cleaner.
  • Will your pet try to escape from the property if they get the chance?
  • What is your pet like travelling in vehicles?
  • What is your pet like when being bathed and cleaned?
  • Is your pet house trained, or do they sometimes have accidents?

Pet Supplies

From the list below, include what is relevant to you and your pet. Also include information on location, quantity and where to buy more if needed.

  • Pet bedding. Including baskets, blankets etc.
  • Tanks, cages, kennels etc. Include information on how and how often to clean them. What products and equipment do you clean them with?
  • Food, drinks and treats, including bowls and food containers.
  • All health care products and medications.
  • Toilet equipment such as, kitty litter and trays, plastic bags, gloves etc.
  • Pooper scoopers, mops, buckets, cleaning products etc
  • Toys, play items, scratch posts etc.
  • Walking (leashes, muzzles etc) and exercise equipment.
  • Cleaning and/or grooming equipment.
  • Travelling items such as boxes, cages, blankets etc.

Rules for your pets

  • Is your pet an inside, outside animal or are they both? Are they allowed outside at certain times only etc?
  • Is there anywhere inside your house or on your property where your pet is not allowed?
  • Are your pets only allowed to eat certain foods, no treats or human food? Are they allowed to eat between meals?
  • Are your pets allowed on the furniture, beds, table tops and bench tops?
  • What is your policy on scratching furniture, curtains or carpets?
  • Do you have any methods of punishment for breaking of rules?
  • Any other rules that apply to your pet.

Getting your Home and Pet ready for the House sitter.

Before your house sitter arrives there are a number of things you can do to get your home and pet ready for the house sitters arrival. The better prepared everything is, the better the house sitter can look after your pet.

Getting your home ready.

Some ways to prepare your home for the sitter include:

  • Having all food, toys, cleaning equipment etc in easy to find locations for the house sitter.
  • Stock up on everything the house sitter will need e.g. food, kitty litter, medication etc.
  • Putting away any dangerous objects and chemicals in a locked cupboard or safe place.
  • If your pet is an inside animal, check all the locks on doors and windows are in working order.
  • If your pet likes to escape the from the property, cut off its usual escape routes to the best of your ability.
  • Clean tanks, cages, kennels, etc just before house sitter arrives so they know the standard it should be kept to.
  • Make sure ways to dangerous places are blocked e.g. pool, garage.
  • Have phone number of vet and after hour’s emergency service beside your phone just in case.
  • Have a neighbour, relative or friend who knows your pets well on standby just in case house sitter needs advice or needs to drop the pets around for any reason.

Getting your pet ready:

  • Ensure that your pet is licensed and has all the appropriate identification equipment e.g. tags
  • Have your per registered at the local animal shelters
  • If your pet has any health problems then get them taken care of. If medication is needed ensure there is enough for the duration you are away.
  • Anything else you can think of that will get your pet ready to be without you.

This checklist will ensure you have left the house sitter prepared for any situation and your pets will be taken care of to the best of the sitter’s abilities. All that is left for you to do is go and enjoy your holiday to the best of your abilites. Remember all of the above is a guide line and some of it may not be relevant to you or your situation.

Provide your house sitter with as much or as little information as you feel necessary.

Just as long as you provide enough information for your house sitter to look after your home and pets to the best of their abilities, then there should be no problems whatsoever. Happy travelling!

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