Vacations and Your Pet, part 2 of 3

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Choosing a Pet Sitter

Perhaps your pet easily feels anxious, or does not do well with new people and new settings.  Or maybe you just prefer to know that your pets are comfortable in there own bed, with their own bowls and toys in your home.  Whatever the reason, you decide that a pet sitter is the right choice for you and your pet.
Now… where do you start?  First things first, you should figure out what your pets needs are.  Is he or she a cat that is fine without too much affection and would do well with just one visit a day?  Do you have a dog, that requires a lot of exercise and attention making a stay in home care giver a better option.  Or does your pet require medications on a regular basis? Perhaps they are diabetic.
Next, ask around.  Talk to your friends, neighbours and your veterinary clinic, chances are someone will be able to make a recommendation.  Once you have found that person who can help you, be sure to invite them into your home to meet you and your pet.  In essence, conduct an interview.  Ask about their experience, make sure they interact with your pet and that your pet likes them.  Show them around your home and let them see where your pet’s food/toys/treats etc are kept.  Make sure you are completely upfront with them about your pets care requirements.  Talk about how much they expect to be paid, and above all ask for references!  The last thing your want to come home to after a vacation, is a missing pet and a house that looks like a few parties had been had.
When you’ve done your due diligence, and have found your pet sitter, make sure you have done the following:

  •  Provide the name and contact information of your veterinarian
  •  Contact your veterinarian office and let them know how long you will be gone, who will be watching your pet, and if they have consent to make medical decisions
  • A plan for payment, should your pet need to go to the Vet
  • Clear written instructions of your pets feeding, exercise and medication (if needed) routineEnough supplies to keep your pet fed (and medicated) for longer than your expected time away.  It is always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency
  • Any extra’s you would like done… bringing in the mail, watering the plants etc.

If your pet is diabetic, be sure to cover all of the above, as well as show them with the syringe and insulin exactly how much insulin your pet should be given and where it is stored.  The signs that would indicate that your pet is hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and what they should do in the event that this happens.  Also remind them about the importance of feeding and medicating times.
Here are some excellent websites that are all about diabetic pets, including a hand pet sitter check list!
And finally… vacation and relax, knowing that your pet is at home being well taken care of.

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Vacations and Your Pet, part 1 of 3help with travel anxiety in pets