The two best parts of a good pet sitting experience are when you leave your house and when you arrive back home. We've used our services for ourselves and there is nothing like walking out of your house, getting in the car, and going. No hassles of loading the dog, cat, or other pet up and driving them to a facility and no having to wait for anywhere to open. It's get up, get ready, go, and you're on vacation.
Coming home is the second-best part but only if everything has gone well. We won't lie and tell you all the visits we have done have gone perfectly. We've had our share of upset clients to deal with, but these three tips will help to make sure coming home is a positive experience.
1. Leave Clear Instructions
On our end, we use the Time to Pet System that has pet profiles, instructions for the house, emergency contacts, and a litany of other information for clients to fill out. This is only as good as the information entered or a client's willingness to enter information. The best types of notes are those that are short, sweet, and to the point like, "Doby gets fed 1 scoop between 5-7 in the morning and 5-7 in the evening. At night he gets one pill from the green prescription bottle wrapped in cheese." This type of note gives clear easy to follow directions expressly stating what needs to be done when. If a home has multiple pets it is best to organize the note by time rather than by pet. Try to limit notes to one or two typed pages. Too much information is often the same as too little as the important details can get lost.
2. Note Any Household Issues Someone Working in Your Home Needs to Know
Pet sitting is both the service industry and the care industry. While we are caring for pets we are also in our clients' homes and need to know if there is anything to look out for like the back door needing an extra push to close, a toilet handle needing to be moved forward for the tank to fill, or if the fridge door's rubber is worn and needs a tad more force to close. While none of this is directly related to the care of the pets it can create quite a negative situation to come home to, and we can't know the information we aren't told. If a light is on a timer and we aren't told about it and get to light out of rhythm that can create a negative situation for a client to return to when they are expecting their home to be in the same condition as they left it. Other household eccentricities can obviously be more damaging or costly, but we can't know what we aren't told so make sure to list or go over any with your pet sitter before services begin.
3. Make Necessary Items Easy to Find
This goes without saying when it comes to the pet's food, litter, poop bags, or any other pet-related items we might need, but it also pertains to cleaning supplies for any accidents that might occur, paper towels, and kitchen and outdoor trashcans. We have spent a few too many minutes wandering through kitchens looking for the secret compartment that the trashcan must be in because there must be a kitchen trashcan. Outdoor trashcans we'll let you use your imagination on what we've taken in our cars with us to the next pet visit. As a bonus to this please move items to a height and location easy for your pet sitter to reach. We have some very tall clients to whom the top shelf is easy to reach for us 5'6" and under persons, it is not so easy to reach and it is even worse when a tall person has a litter box on a shelf.
That's it for this week. We hope that these tips help you prepare your home for a positive and successful pet sitting experience.