How to Prepare Your Dog and Home for a Pet Sitter

young female pet sitter hugging dogs how to prepare for pet sitter

(Photo credit: svetikd / Getty Images)

Pet sitters can be lifesavers when you have to leave home and can’t take your dog with you. But it can also be nerve-wracking to leave your fur baby in the hands of someone else, even if they are an experienced professional. To ensure a smooth experience for both your dog and the pet sitter, proper preparation is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to prepare your dog and home for a pet sitter, ensuring your pup receives the best care possible in your absence.

Clean and organize

Start by thoroughly cleaning your home, removing any clutter or hazards that could pose a risk to your dog or pet sitter. Put away valuable items and fragile objects to prevent accidents.

Stock up on essential supplies

Stock up on your dog’s food, treats, medications, and any other supplies they may need during your absence. Ensure that you have enough to last throughout the entire pet-sitting period. Also, provide toiletries for the pet sitter as well as cleaning supplies for both human and canine messes.

ensure access

Provide the pet sitter with any necessary codes or passwords for access to doors, gates, garages, the security system, and the internet. Also, leave a spare key for your pet sitter, even if you have a keypad lock. Keypad batteries can unexpectedly die, leaving no way to access the outside door. As a backup, consider providing a key to a trustworthy neighbor.


Remove any potentially harmful objects from your pet’s reach, such as plants, trash, or cleaning supplies. In stressful situations (ie your absence!), pets may exhibit unusual behaviors. To ensure their safety, consider confining your dog to a specific room or crate.

Information to give your pet sitter

Detailed routine

Provide a detailed schedule of your dog’s daily routine, including feeding times, exercise routines, and any specific instructions regarding their care. Inform the pet sitter about your dog’s preferences, such as favorite toys or games.

Contact information

Share your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and an alternate contact person in case of an emergency. Provide the contact details of your veterinarian and any necessary medical information about your dog.

Emergency protocols

Prepare a list of emergency procedures and contact numbers. Include your veterinarian’s contact information, as well as the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Inform the pet sitter about your dog’s medical history, allergies, and any medications they are taking.

House rules

If the pet sitter will be staying in your home, provide clear guidelines on:

  • guest policy

  • Sleeping arrangements

  • Which bathrooms they may use

  • If (and what) foods they may eat from your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry

  • Operating household appliances, heating and air conditioning

  • When and how to lock doors, windows, fences/gates, and garage doors

Update parameters

Discuss with your pet sitter how often and through which medium (video calls, photos, texts, phone calls) you prefer to receive updates about your pup’s well-being.

Preparing your dog for the arrival of a pet sitter

Meet and greet

Arrange a meet-and-greet session between your dog and the pet sitter before you leave. Allow them to interact in a neutral location to help your dog become familiar with the sitter. Use positive reinforcement, treats, and play to create a positive association.

familiar belongings

Leave your dog’s favorite toys, blankets, or bedding accessible for the pet sitter. Having familiar items around can provide comfort and a sense of security for your dog.


Ensure your dog wears a collar with an updated identification tag containing your contact information. Consider microchipping your dog if you haven’t already, and ensure that the registration details are up to date.

Leaving your dog in safe hands

By following these steps and thoroughly preparing your dog and home for a pet sitter, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free experience for both your furry friend and the caretaker. Effective communication, a well-prepared home environment, and comprehensive information will help your pet sitter provide the best care possible, allowing you to enjoy your time away with peace of mind.

Wondering if your pet sitter is trustworthy? Check out these signs. Have an awesome pet sitter? Express your gratitude with one of these ways to say thank you.

The post How to Prepare Your Dog and Home for a Pet Sitter appeared first on DogTime.

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