How to Prepare for your absence:

__Schedules are important! Make your reservations for a pet sitter as far in advance as possible and remember to call the sitter if you are coming home later or earlier than expected. This will allow the pet sitter to plan for extra visits or serve additional clients.

__Have everything necessary to care for your pet in one general and visible area. This includes food, treats, utensils, food and water bowls, medications, leash, can opener, toys, paper towels, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, litter and scoop, broom and dustpan and/or vacuum cleaner, towels (for rainy walks), newspapers (if paper training), watering can for plants, etc.

__Provide extra food, litter and supplies just in case you are not able to return when anticipated.

__Be sure to leave plastic bags for sanitary disposal of feces. Pet sitters are happy to perform this task while you’re away, but shouldn’t be expected to clean up accumulation prior to your absence!

__Clean out the refrigerator before leaving to avoid smelly food spoilage, and wash any dishes in the sink to prevent ants or other pests.

__For the comfort of your pet, adjust your thermostat before leaving on your trip and advise your pet sitter within what range to keep it. A closed-up home can get uncomfortably hot in a short time.

_Very importantly, pet proof your home, pick up things like stockings and other things that could be harmful if ingested.  This means all chemicals in areas where your pets have access should be put away.  It is also a good idea to unplug unused appliances to avoid a fire or even electrical shock to pets.  It is also better not to give your pets things that might be choking hazards during your absence.  If your pet needs chew toys, pick ones that are too large to swallow.  Even tennis balls have been found to cause choking. 

_ If you have a destructive animal, inform your pet care provider of your pet's behaviors and do what ever necessary preventative measures to ensure that your valuables are safe from your pet.  If you have valuables in windows, it is a good idea to take them down before a trip as pets will sometimes knock things down when trying to look out windows. 

_Secure your pets, make sure your pets are inside when you leave.  Pets left in yards or kennels should also be checked and secured before you leave.  Yards should also be cleared of any pet hazards.  Be sure to check fence perimeters for holes, and other damage.  Make sure gates are secured and we like to recommend locks on the gates while you are gone.

__Tell the pet sitter if bathrooms or any other household areas are off limits to your pet and/or sitter. Secure access to these areas before leaving home. Also, make the pet sitter aware if your cat happens to love shredding the contents of the bathroom trashcan or if the toilet is prone to run or become clogged.

__Will other people be checking on your pet? If so, help avoid confusion by making it clear what the pet sitter is responsible for and what other visitors will be entrusted to do.

__Notify your veterinarian in writing that a pet sitter will be caring for your pet and authorize the vet to extend medical care during your absence if it becomes necessary.