What Information should I give to my Pet Sitter?

Author picture Jessica  - updated: 02/03/2024

What do I need to tell the petsitter?

You've been through the Meet & Greet, you've sighted your sitters Police Check (if they have one) and now you've confirmed and paid for your booking. What else do you need to do before the pet handover to the sitter?

A dog on a foot rest

How to Prepare for your Pet Sitter

The preparation you will need to do for a Dog Walk will be different to a long House Sitting booking. The main goal is to ensure that in the unlikely event of an emergency, or a sudden change in circumstances, your sitter has all the relevant information they will need readily at hand.

Pawshake has already prepared a number of intake forms for each service that you are free to use from our Help Centre here. In this article, we will help you construct a solid checklist for you and your sitter.

Creating a Comfortable Space

Take the time to establish a calm and comfortable setting and prepare your home for the handover. This will help to minimise any anxiety from your furry pal.

If your sitter is going to be looking after your pet in your own home, take a moment to reintroduce them to the home environment. Share insights into your pet's behaviour, preferences, and the unique aspects of their routine.

Make sure essential supplies like food, treats, toys, and grooming tools are readily on hand to show to the sitter. Take the time to allow for your sitter and your pet to reintroduce themselves to each other.

Keep the entire handover calm and collected. This is especially important for first time bookings or with new sitters to help calm your pets anxiety.

A ginger cat on a foot rest

Your Pet's Daily Routine

Provide your sitter with a detailed overview of your pet's daily routine. Share your pet's feeding times, exercise preferences, show where your pet's food is stored and highlight any specific activities, rituals or treats that you know your pet enjoys. This helps your sitter integrate into your pet's established schedule.

Offer your own insights into your pet's behaviour, including triggers, likes, and dislikes. Demonstrate and teach any specific commands your pet responds to, especially those relevant to outdoor activities such as walks.

Sharing further behavioural tips or insights can deepen the sitter's connection with your pet, making for a more enjoyable stay and give you some peace of mind.

Emergency Preparation

Before the sitter arrives, create a folder or document that contains all the important information the sitter will need in case of an emergency.

This information should include;

  • Emergency vet information, along with maps and contact info in case they require emergency care
  • Emergency contact information for yourself, including an itinerary of where you'll be and a way to contact you. That could be via email address, Pawshake Message, text message or WhatsApp - just consider the most direct way you will be contactable. It is highly recommended that you both exchange contact information and you also record the sitter's to take with you.
  • An Emergency Contact who is not you, in the case the sitter is injured or indisposed and cannot reach you, please nominate a friend or family member the sitter can reach out to. Ideally this person should be local to the sitter and aware that they have been nominated as an emergency contact.
  • A list of any existing health concerns or dietary restrictions your pet may have. Please note your pet's daily dietary requirements, including any allergies.
  • Provide a comprehensive list of medications, dosages, and precise instructions for administration.
  • All other necessary documents, including your pet's medical records, vaccination history, and insurance information. Ensure these documents are easily accessible throughout the stay.
A nervous dog

Trial an Overnight Stay

If your booking involves an overnight stay, it is a good idea to consider a trial period to make sure the sitter is a good match with your furry pal. Allowing your pet and sitter to spend some quality time together, while you're still present, helps create a sense of familiarity.

It will give you some peace of mind to know that your beloved pet and the sitter are comfortable with each other and helps to prevent failed bookings due to poor compatibility.

Guiding the Sitter Through Your Home

When it come time for the pet sitter handover, take the sitter on a tour of your home, emphasising key areas like the sleeping spot, feeding station, and where essential pet supplies are kept. Make them aware of spare leashes and grooming tools.

If the sitter is staying in your home for the booking, show them where they will be sleeping and make them aware of any information regarding their bedding and food prep. Use this time to reiterate the specific details of the booking, confirming all dates, times, and any additional services agreed upon. This clarity ensures a smooth continuation of care.

If you have had a spare key cut especially for the sitter - please ensure you have tested that it functions before the handover. It can create quite a lot of stress if you are on the way to the airport and suddenly receive a text that the key does not work.

Do I Need to Tell the Pet Sitter about Recording Devices in my Home?

Finally, take the time to ensure your sitter is aware and comfortable with all recording devices such as security cameras, Ring Doorbells or an alarm system. Check your state and federal government for any restrictions around these devices.

Many state and federal governments have strict requirements around privacy when it comes to recording devices in the home and how the recorded data is stored. This is particularly true when it comes to devices inside the home, where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. In many cases, it is illegal not to inform a visitor they are being recorded inside your home.

A relaxed cat

Relax & Breathe Easy

By providing this information to your pet sitter, you empower them to offer the best possible service when caring for your pets. Effective communication and thoughtful preparation is the key.

You can find our Pet Intake Forms again HERE in our Help Centre article on the Meet & Greet.

Need a trusted House Sitter? Find one on Pawshake today!

Find a pet sitter