5 Step Guide to Having a Dog Sitter

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Seeing that I have 3 medium – large sized dogs, it’s no small favor to ask someone to stay with them while I am out of town. This is why I try to make things as easy breezy as possible for whichever brave soul has accepted this task.

1. Ask Someone You Know
My go to people are usually someone close within my friend circle (I love my family, but I don’t trust them to be alone in my house! Lol). Someone I can trust to stay at my house- because no one wants three strange dogs invading their home, that’s just asking too much- and someone that my dogs are already comfortable around. My first option is usually one of my bff’s Cody, #BirdeeMaetheBeagles dog dad. Cody was a short term roommate of mine, so my dogs are used to having him around. It’s also convenient for Cody to bring Birdee over, since he has a dog of his own to take care of, it’s not too much trouble for him to take care of my dogs too. Plus, my dogs just love having a new pup in the house to play with and entertain. If Cody or any of my other friends are too busy, I will usually resort to the young and adorable college girls (friends of my best friends’ younger sister). As I’m sure most of you know, most college students are broke! So the opportunity to sit in a house all weekend getting paid to watch the cutest dogs on the world, would be a dream gig! Just make sure they’re people you already trust. 

2. Create an Emergency Contact List
My emergency contact list usually consists of my number and where I’ll be staying, the number to my closest trusted neighbor, vet contact info, and the address to closest animal hospital. Almost all of these will go without use, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry! 

3. Easy Accessibility
This isn’t usually something that most people think of. When you’re so use to your day-to-day routine, it’s hard to consider that this same routine might not be second nature to someone else. For example, I typically keep my dogs food in their bedroom closet, while Cody might typically keep Birdee’s dog food in the kitchen, so he would never think to look for my dogs’ food in their closet. It’s thinking ahead and just plain courteous to keep all of your dog’s necessities in one spot for easier access for your dog sitter. Items such as dog food, dog toys, treats, leashes, harnesses, extra sheets/towels, dog shampoo, grooming supplies, etc. They’re doing you a solid, so try to make things as easy on your sitter as possible.

4. New Treats and Toys
Buy your pets some new goodies before you leave. I usually go for the long lasting bone or rawhide chews. Give your dogs their new goodies right before your departure. This will 1. Distract them as you are leaving (i.e. relieve my dog mom guilt of leaving them) and 2. This will help keep them mildly entertained and give them something to do while you’re gone, so your dogs won’t potentially drive your dog sitter crazy! 

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5. Feeding Schedule
This one is pretty basic, before you leave be sure to provide a feeding schedule for your dog sitter. How many times a day your dogs get fed, how much they get fed (one scoop, or two?), and around what time they should be fed. I of course, always recommend writing these details down! Your dogs schedule should not be compromised just because you can’t physically be there.

Another side note that I would like to mention is the doggy cam. While I’m out of town, I will usually leave my dog cam set up in the living room or kitchen. Some place a little less private, but still provides a lot of visual access. This is just so I can check in on my dogs whenever, provide myself with peace of mind, and keeps me from asking for pictures of my dogs 50 times a day! Just make sure your dog sitter knows there is an active live stream camera in the house and where it is located!

These are just some habits that I have picked up over the years. Being a dog mom really is a learn-as-you-go experience. So I hope you find some of these tips helpful!

Safe travels dog parents!
- Bones and Blogs  

 

Amberly Lewis