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 Sitter Guide

The weather is heating up, and you’ve probably made vacation plans. Hiring a house or pet sitter will be essential for the safety and security of your home and your pet during your absence. Use this guide to help prep your home and pet sitters.

Pet preparation

Hiring a pet sitter can be a great alternative to boarding your pet. There are several ways to locate a professional sitter, such as through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, a personal or veterinarian recommendation, or a well-known company like Rover.com.

Meet and greet

Invite your pet sitter to visit before going away—it’s an opportunity for them to become acquainted with your pet and for your pet to become familiar with their scent. You can also use this time to convey any specific instructions and walk them through your pet's routines.


Label food containers with the amount and time of day your pet needs to eat. If they have a special diet, leave instructions for its preparation and any medications that need to be administered during meal time. Consider leaving additional food should your return home be delayed. Also, make sure your pet sitter knows your pet’s daily snack routine.

Medical care

If your pet has any medical issues or allergies requiring medication, give instructions on how and when they should be administered. Also, provide your veterinarian's contact information, and inform your veterinarian that your sitter has permission to make medical decisions on your behalf.


Exercise and playtime

Communicate to the sitter how much exercise and playtime your pet should receive daily. Setting these expectations can help reduce the likelihood of your four-legged friend getting into trouble when left alone for long periods

Behavior expectations

Let your sitter know of any pet behavioral challenges in advance. For example, if your pet jumps on a sofa or chair and it’s a no-no in your home, leave instructions for what action to take if they do. If they use a crate or wear a muzzle or harness, give clear directions on how to use them.

Pet safety

Remove any harmful items, such as plants, trash, and cleaning supplies, and keep your pet comfortable by setting the thermostat to a cool temperature, especially in summer. If you have a fenced backyard, make sure all gates are locked to prevent your animal companion from wandering away.


Store your first aid kit, poop bags, cleaning supplies, and ancillary items like toys, dog carriers, harnesses, leashes, litter, and pee pads readily available and in easy-to-reach places, such as in a pet-dedicated box.

Home preparation

If you’ve hired a house sitter, don’t overlook the importance of providing a comfortable and welcoming environment for them. Supply clean sheets and towels, and be sure to stock your refrigerator and pantry with some food basics.

Essential information

Provide vital information—your trip itinerary, the best method of communication (phone, email, or through the hotel), and emergency numbers—for neighbors or family members

Home security

If you have an alarm system, leave the code and alarm company information in an easy-toaccess location as well as instructions for how to secure your home when leaving. Also, give your neighbor a spare key, or find a hiding spot for one outside your home.

Home upkeep

Inform your sitter of any scheduled help that will come during your absence, such as a housekeeper or landscaper. Make sure they know the location of the fuse box and the water shutoff as well as where to pick up and leave the mail in your home.

Using these tips to prep your home and pet sitter before your much-anticipated summer vacation can help you enjoy it more, knowing your pet and home are being properly cared for.



April 7, 2024

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