Ensuring your pets’ safety before placing him in the hands of a pet sitter or dog walker is something you should give some thought to. Chances are there won’t ever be any safety issues that come up while you’re away, but a little preparation can go a long way in preventing any incidents while you’re gone. And, if something does happen, being prepared will help minimize the severity of any mishaps.
It’s best to talk about safety issues with your dog walker or pet sitter, and here are a few things you should do and discuss with the person caring for your pet:
- Make sure your pet sitter has your veterinarian’s name, phone number, hours, and address. Most pet sitting companies will require a vet release form with this information on it.
- Inform your veterinarian when you’ll be gone and make arrangements as to how your pet will be cared for if you are not able to be reached.
- Inform your pet sitter of any health issues your pet may have.
- If your pet is on any medication, give instructions on how it’s to be administered, and if possible, show your pet sitter how it’s done. Do not assume your pet sitter knows the dosage or how or when to give medications. Put it in writing.
- Put together a pet first aid kit, and let your pet sitter know where it is in your home. Many pet sitters carry their own, but having one in your home will save time.
- Ask your pet sitter if he/she has taken a pet first aid course. Courses are available through Pet Tech and the Red Cross. (Austin pet owners can take a class from Austin Pet First Aid).
- Give your pet sitter the name of someone you trust who can act on your behalf if there is a pet emergency and you cannot be contacted.
- If your pet sitter or dog walker will be transporting your cat, dog, or other pet, ask how they will be secured in the car. Safety harnesses or secured crates are ideal for dogs, while small carriers are best for cats.
- Before leaving for a vacation, take a slow walk through your home and look for anything that may be a danger to your pets. Are there items within your pets’ reach that could be harmful if they got bored and chewed on them? Are household chemicals easy to get to? If your pets have access to the outdoors, is the yard secure and danger free? Try to make your home as safe as possible for your pets.
Obviously there’s no way to be 100% sure there will be no emergencies with your pets – that’s true even when you’re home with them! But, if you and your pet sitter work together and have a plan, you can rest easy knowing you’re both prepared.
This post is part of the Second Annual Pet ‘Net Event w/NBC Universal’s Petside.com, in which pet bloggers are working together to educate pet owners on various pet safety issues. PetsitUSA is pleased to be part of this event for the second year.