The Ultimate List of Stuff You Might Forget to Leave Your Dog Sitter

By Stephanie Snay 

We know you’d take your pup everywhere if you could. You could easily picture your dog chilling in the office with you or working up a sweat on the treadmill as your accountability partner…

running Image via Love Dino

However, sometimes the pups get left behind. If you’re planning a vacation anytime soon and can’t take Fido along, you’ll want to make sure you’re leaving your pet sitter with everything they could possibly need to care for your four-legged family member.

As an animal lover, and definitely a sucker, I end up watching my friends’ dogs for them a lot. I actually enjoy it. I need a dog fix every now and then since I can’t have one in my apartment. But I have run into issues before when I wasn’t armed with all the information I needed. Like how could I know that my pal Clyde would counter surf to eat his leash? Or when the three large, hungry dogs I frequently watch ran out of dog food and I went to three different stores before learning that they buy their food from the trainer. One of my favorite pet sitter fails though, is when I couldn’t get those previously mentioned three dogs to eat their breakfast.

Image via QuickMeme

Every morning for a week, I had to pull up a chair to their bowls and sit and wait. Why wouldn’t they eat?! When I called my friend, her response was, “Oh yeah, we put a little bit of whipped cream on their breakfast.” All the wasted time and worry, and these spoiled pups were just waiting on me to give them whipped cream.

I’ve compiled this pet sitter checklist based on my experience. Check it out to make sure you won’t come home to eaten leashes or 10 bags of trash because your sitter didn’t know what day to take it to the curb.

Image from Quickmeme

• Time and date of departure and arrival An itinerary is also helpful, so your pet sitter knows the best times to get in touch with you.

• Cell phone number, hotel information and room number

• Neighbor’s info This comes in handy if your dog decides to lock the human out and laugh.

• Friend of family member’s information If there’s something your pet sitter needs and they can’t reach you, then this is the next best thing.

• Security code

• Vet info

• Emergency plans

• Trash/recycling pick up days

• Feeding and walking schedule

• List of medications and instructions for use Even if your dog doesn’t take daily meds, think about all that could happen. Is there something you give if the dog gets sneezy or a bellyache? Do you give allergy meds in a spoonful of peanut butter?

• Specific brand name for food and treats You don’t want your dog to just eat anything if the food runs out.

• Pet store you frequent Just in case the pet sitter needs to pick something up.

• List of where leash, food, brush, etc., is stored

• Favorite toys

• List of unfriendly dogs or people along walk route Accidents happen, but maybe they can be better avoided by having the dog sitter stick to walking on a particular side of the street.

• Anything off limits? If your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, make sure your pet sitter knows.

• Thermostat instructions

• Emergency spare key Find a good hiding spot to store an extra key just in case.

• Vistors? Leave a list of days and times anyone comes to the home, such as a housecleaner, gardener, or pool cleaner. An unexpected guest can cause quite the fright for a housesitter.

• List of toxic foods to pets

• Tv/remote instructions 

• Doggy hobbies  Your pet sitter should know what the dog’s normal behavior is. For example, does your pup drink out of the toilet? Tell your pet sitter so he or she knows to leave the seat down. Does Fido want scratches on the butt? Is the tennis ball better than the Frisbee? All helpful to know.

• Are you expecting a BarkBox while you’re away? Let your pet sitter know so your dog can enjoy all the barktastic fun inside.

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