Ensure that there will be enough food, treats, kitty litter, etc. for the time you will be away.
Let your pet sitter know where your dog’s leash is kept.
If you have a carrier for your pet, let your pet sitter know where it is kept.
If your pet is on medication, notify your pet sitter ahead of time.
Leave detailed instructions on its use, even if you tell your pet sitter verbally how it’s administered.
Put ID tags on each of your pets.
Provide outdoor pets with plenty of water, shelter, and a secure enclosure.
Leave toys for your pet to play with while you’re away.
Let your vet know in advance that you will be out of town and that a pet sitter will be caring for your pets. Many pet sitters will have you fill out a form detailing the type of care you’d like your pet to receive if you cannot be reached.
Most pet sitters will require you to complete a veterinary release form. However, it’s also a good idea to give your vet the name of the person who will be caring for your pets while you’re away. This is especially important if your pet has a health condition that needs to be watched.
Prepare your home
Inform your pet sitter of anything that may be out of the ordinary (sinks that don’t drain properly, toilet that overflows, etc.).
Show your pet sitter where the thermostat is and how to operate it. Be sure to leave it set at a comfortable temperature for your pets while you’re gone.
If anyone will be in your home during your absence, let your pet sitter know. Because of safety concerns, many pet sitters will not enter a house if they see someone there. Also, be aware that many pet sitting businesses will not accept jobs if they are requested to share pet care responsibilities with others, or if someone else will be in the home while they are caring for your pets.
For dogs that stay outdoors, secure the yard and lock any gates.
Potentially dangerous plants or decorations should be put somewhere that your pets won’t be able to get to them. Keep this in mind especially during the holidays when Christmas trees and other decorations are on display.
Place cleaning supplies where they will be easily accessible if needed.
If you rent, give your landlord your pet sitter’s name in case of emergency. Give your pet sitter the landlord’s name as well.
If your pet sitter’s first visit will be after dark, be sure to leave an outside light on.
Prior to your departure, give your pet sitter information on how you can be contacted. If for some reason your pet sitter were unable to get into your home, leaving the information on your kitchen counter would be useless. Therefore, it is best to provide your pet sitter with this information before you leave.
If you will not be able to be contacted while you’re gone, be sure to provide the name and phone number of someone who will be able to make decisions on your behalf.