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Dog Sitter Tips

Word Count: 558

Read Time: 2.5 minutes

The Main Idea: When your best friend can’t go with you, there are important considerations to ensure he is safe and happy.

1. Finding the right sitter for your dog


  • For referrals, ask people you trust who like dogs. This could be a friend, family member or neighbor. Also, your vet, breeder, groomer or trainer may have a suggestion in your area. A local doggy day care may have a recommendation. Then there are coworkers or members of a club you frequent. Social media such as Next Door might also have some recommendations.


  • Search on dog sitter websites. Check to see if the site requires a background check and look at reviews. Two good ones are www.rover.com and www.care.com.


  • Sitters come in many forms. Some sitters livefull-timee at your home, some board your dog in their home, and others offer drop-in services. They will walk your dog or play fetch, if needed, besides fussing over her, and giving her food and water.


  • Check out local boarding kennels. Not all run their programs equally. Ask for a tour of facilities, and what extras they provide. Also ask if daily updates are given. Make you also check online reviews.


2. Before you drop off your dog

  • Visit the sitter’s house or have them visit you if they are coming to your house. Or, if boarding at a kennel, visit the facilities. Will the sitter communicate daily?

  • Find out if they have a nanny cam you can watch, or if they take a daily photo.

  • Ask if the sitter has a pool or other dogs. Do they have safety guards for the pool? Do their dogs get along with new doggie visitors?

  • Do they have a fenced yard?

  • Do they have kids? Are the kids trained in respectful interaction and safety with dogs?

  • How much dog sitting, and/or general experience with dogs, do they have?

  • How much outside time will your dog have each day?

  • Where will your dog sleep?

  • Will your dog ever be driven in a car? Is there a safety harness? Will the dog be taken out of the car such as a park?


3. What to leave with your dog

  • Emergency contact information and backup contact

  • The name and phone number of your vet

  • Feeding instructions

  • Microchip number

  • Written exercise needs and what she likes (fetch, walks, etc.)

  • Words he knows (if it’s a labradoodle – there will be lots of them!)

4. Leaving your dog home alone for a few hours


If you will be gone for a few hours, or for the day, your home needs to be set up for this so that your dog is comfortable, safe and fed.


Some tips:

  • Purchase an electric dog feeder.

  • Install a doggie door so he can go outside for potty, or just take a nature stroll.

  • Purchase a dog water fountain or fill up several bowls with water in case she spills one over.

  • Have a ring doorbell or other camera where the dog usually hangs out so you can monitor.

  • Have a supply of chews and toys for your pooch.

  • A neighbor, friend or family member should be on call, in case you need someone to check your 4-legged buddy.

You know your dog best! Do your research and make the best decision for you and your dog.


Dig Deeper:


Site to find dodog-friendly hotels: www.bringfido.com when bringing your dog along.


Information on how to make your dog more comfortable and entertained when home alone.


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