School will be letting out soon and parents will be scrambling to hire a sitter for the summer. Have you thought about what responsibilities the sitter will have for your dog’s care as well?
Amanda Knapp, Founder & CEO of the Sitting Made Simple franchise, recommends a “Family Go-To” sheet. This Go-To Sheet lists all the household rules and instructions, location of important items and helpful hints for your sitter.
Some of the items you may want to consider:
Name, address and phone number of your veterinarian and emergency veterinarian.
The brand of food your dog eats and how often he should be fed. The sitter will likely choose the least expensive at the grocery store if you run out. Don’t forget about fresh water and exercise too.
It will be helpful to review your rules for the canine pack member. For example, let the sitter know if you discourage feeding your dog table scraps. You might also review your rules about the dog being on the furniture. Do you ask our dog to sit before feeding? It’s important that your sitter maintain the consistency and routines you’ve put in place.
Do you let your dog out to toilet without your supervision? If so, you may ask the sitter to go out with her. You might also consider asking the sitter to take her out to toilet while on leash. I’ve had clients whose dogs have escaped the yard because the sitter was inattentive while the dog is in the yard.
I also recommend the sitter answer the door rather than young children. Youngsters sometimes are in a rush to answer the door and may inadvertently let the dog out. This is really important if your dog likes to bolt and/or if she doesn’t reliably come when called.
Amanda also recommends another helpful tool — a Sitter Log. Sitting Made Simple requires sitters to document what went on while you were away. This will provide you a review of the day’s happenings and may help you identify any rules you need to review.
Thinking about these things now will make it easier for you and your sitter on his/her first day.