So, you’re on your way to a sunny vacation destination – finally!
A new level of excitement about going on an adventure after months inside is something really special. The biggest downside is leaving our pets at home while we do it. If you’re traveling somewhere and enlisting the help of a family member, neighbor, or dog-sitting service, here’s a list of the best things to leave for their sitter so they have too much fun to miss you while you’re away!
- Your Pup’s Daily Routine and Important Numbers
It may seem like overkill, particularly if you’ve already told the person instructions or if they’ve watched your animals before; but it’s the thought that counts – a thoughtful gesture that empowers the sitter to feel confident that they know the big-ticket items and can reference it at any time, day or night, in case they need or want to.
Here are the big things to include: your current vet’s address and phone number, a local 24-hour emergency vet, microchip number, feeding schedule with time to be fed and quantity of food, necessary medications, exercise routine, your cell number, WIFI password, and some things your pup loves (and doesn’t!). If you have multiple pets make sure to also add a photo of each so the instructions are easy to identify.
- Have an Honest Conversation with Your Dog-Sitter
If your dog doesn’t do well on walks, or barks at all delivery trucks, it’s not the time to sugar-coat these trouble areas. Filling in the person watching your pet on the real details of the things they struggle with is necessary to keep everyone safe and well-cared for.
- Frozen Dog-safe Foods or Filled Enrichment Toys
Optional, yes. Amazing? Also, yes.
Putting dog-safe foods like carrots or celery in the freezer are easy ways to ensure your dog has things to chew and shred after playing outside. Organize stuffed plastic toys are easily propped up in empty egg cartons in the fridge or freezer. This also helps your dog-sitter have the resources they need to keep your dog entertained and an entertained dog is a happy, tired dog.
- A Blanket or Shirt of Yours
Did you know dogs actually tell time by the amount of your scent left in the house? It’s true! No matter what age or confidence level your dog has, it is hard for them to understand why you’re not at home and having a blanket or shirt of yours on their bed can help them find comfort and stay chill.
- Plenty of Treats, Food, and Other Necessities
That one is fairly self-explanatory. For those who like to have a checklist (or are new pet parents) these are the things to ensure you have left on-hand:
- Harness and/or collar
- Doggy bags
- Bowls and food
- Treats and chews
- Grooming and cleaning supplies
- A blanket/shirt of yours
It’s never fun to leave someone behind while you go out and sometimes makes the trip itself a little less enjoyable. Making sure your home and dog-sitter are prepared to take care of your furry loved one can help keep everyone involved extra calm and that makes it possible to have fun (even when you’re apart)!