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How to Create a Pet Sitter Checklist

Pet Sitter Education Month: What It Is and Why It Matters

September is Pet Sitter Education Month; it was created by the Pet Sitter’s International (PSI) group to educate pet sitters and caretakers about providing safe and exceptional services to pets and to pet parents. Pet education month is a time when pet sitters and caretakers learn about new resources, take pet sitting courses, learn about how to care for pets during a pandemic and with ever-evolving COVID guidelines, update their knowledge with pet first-aid and CRPR, medication administration, and more. Each pet a caretaker cares for is different as is each family.

As professional pet sitters and caretakers learn about how best to care for your pet in new and highly-relevant ways, it’s important for you to know how to find the right pet sitter for your pets and to ensure they have everything they need when they are hired to care for your pet.

Using a Pet Sitter Checklist to Find a Pet Sitter

It’s needless to say that your pet is very important to you, so it’s probably reasonable to assume that you wouldn’t let just anyone care for your pet; just like you wouldn’t let just anyone perform your heart surgery. No doubt, you’ve heard the horror stories of pet parents getting a friend or a neighbor or the teenager down the street to come feed, walk, and care for their pets while they’re away only to return home to a house destroyed or to a hungry pet or an overloaded litter box or worse.

Thus, you want to get a quality and qualified pet sitter for your pet; however, just as when you’re hiring a new therapist or looking for a new general practitioner, you don’t necessarily want to go with the first person available. You vet the candidate using a checklist complete with informed questions.

It’s crucial to interview prospective pet sitters. Pet Sitter’s International has created a very comprehensive PDF checklist, the highlights of which are listed below.

  • Check for licensing and permitting, bonding, and insurance for the company you’re hiring (these are important)
  • Will they / can they provide a background check to show clear criminal history?
  • Can the provide references of previous clients?
  • Do they use a contract for services?
  • What training, certifications, etc. do they have?
  • Are they part of membership organizations?

These are important questions to ask and important qualifications to have. Don’t feel like you’re being too rigorous by expecting and needing your pet sitter to have the qualifications it takes to safely care for your pet. Your pet is a family member and is a big investment as well. Professional pet sitters and pet sitter organizations take the job seriously and will handle your pet with infinitely more professionalism, expertise, and care than sweet little Joey from down the street.

Creating a Pet Sitter Checklist for Your Pet

Once you’ve hired someone to be taking care of your pet, you need to create a detailed pet sitter checklist. You can create a pet sitter checklist using a template you find online or one you make yourself.

Regardless of format, the best checklists are well-organized into categories and are detailed with vital information. Here are some things pet sitter checklists typically always need:

  • How to get in and out of the home: You need to leave your alarm code and key for the pet sitter as well as which door you prefer them to enter through (if applicable).
  • Important phone numbers: In addition to your contact information, your pet sitter checklist should have emergency contacts as well as your veterinarian’s contact information listed. It might also help to list your veterinarian’s hours and the contact for the emergency vet.
  • Pet medications and allergies: Clearly indicate any medications your pet is on including dosage and route of administration. Note any food allergies or dislikes that your pet has as well.
  • Pet health or behavioral issues: Your pet sitter checklist needs to let your pet sitter know about any pet health or behavioral issues that your pet has. For example, a pet with an injury might not need to go for jogs during daily exercise or a pet with anxiety around children shouldn’t be walked at the park.
  • Pet feeding schedule and amounts: Pets of different sizes have different dietary needs. Your pet checklist should specify what to feed your pet, when to feed your pet, and how much to feed your pet.
  • Pet exercise, play, and rest schedule: As with feeding, all pets of every age have a different amount and intensity of exercise they need on a daily basis to stay well. Indicate whether or not your pet exercises outside, how they like to exercise, for how long their exercise sessions should last, how many times a day they need to exercise, how they like to play, and how often and how long they should play each day.
  • Pet routine and personality: Pets are like people in that they’re all different; your pet sitter checklist needs to include a little bit about your pet’s personality. What are their likes and dislikes? Make sure the pet sitter knows how to make your pet happy (scratch behind the ears? Belly rubs?) and what to avoid to keep from upsetting your pet. Your pet routine should also include things like teeth brushing, nail clipping, ear-cleaning, etc. depending on the duration in which they will be caring for your pet.
  • Pet cleaning: An often-forgotten part of leaving your pet is that sometimes messes are made. Make a cleaning supply kit and leave a list of instructions for how to clean up after your pet. For example, you wouldn’t want an unwitting person to use harsh chemicals to clean mud from your dog’s paws off your leather couch. Don’t make assumptions about how others might try to clean up messes if these particulars are important to you.

A Pet Sitter Checklist: Final Thoughts

To conclude, a pet sitter checklist is a vital resource for you, your pet, and your pet sitter. A pet sitter checklist for interviewing makes sure that the person caring for your pet is certified and qualified while a pet sitter checklist for your home ensures your pet sitter knows how to take just as good of care of your pet as you do.

Leaving your pet home alone can be unnerving, which is why it is important to use pet sitter checklists; a pet sitter checklist gives you peace of mind. Another thing that gives pet owners peace of mind is knowing that their pet is being nourished with delicious, natural pet food like those we make at Wellness Pet Food. Peace of mind for pet parents and complete nutrition for pets is as important to us as it is to you

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