Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints from our dog walkers and pet sitters:

pet sittersThings To Do Before You Leave

Our dog walkers and pet sitters provide additional services to ensure your home and pets are well cared for in your absence.

  • Advise your veterinarian that Pet Watchers, Inc. will be caring for your pets in your absence and to give him/her our phone number. (We provide you with a “Veterinarian’s Permission Card” which you should complete and mail to your vet.)
  • Have all your pets inside your home on our first visit so we will know they are secure. Exceptions: dogs in fenced yards and outdoor cats. Make sure all pets wear identifications.
  • Provide ample food, litter, cleaning equipment, and other necessary supplies for the extent of the visit; have ample supplies visible in the kitchen or label cupboards or closets as to where we can find them.
  • Inform us if other people (friends, relatives, etc.) will be checking on the pets or be inside the house. If others will have access to your home during our period of service, you thereby relinquish Pet Watchers, Inc. from liability and responsibility for damage to your home and injury or neglect to your pets. All persons having access to your home and pets during your absence should be present during the initial interview so we can meet and determine what each party’s responsibilities are. ALWAYS INFORM YOUR SITTER IF ANYONE ELSE WILL BE IN YOUR HOME FOR ANY REASON.
  • Provide accurate information, during the initial interview and subsequent visits, concerning your pet’s medical background and behavioral habits, including past aggressive behavior (i.e., biting).
  • Inform Pet Watchers as soon as possible if your plans change and you will be home earlier than planned or if your trip will be extended. If we come for a planned visit, and you are home, you will be charged for that visit.
  • Always leave a backup key for the sitter (if he/she doesn’t have one) for each series of visits and a number where you can be reached during your trip.
  • Maintain a flea-free environment. We reserve the right to refuse service to any client whose house is infested with fleas.
  • Leave your vacation number, if known at the time of the key pick-up, and any additional information we should know.
  • Arrange for a neighbor to have your key and be sure the sitter knows the neighbor’s name and number in case of severe weather and the sitter cannot make it to your house (heavy snowfall, flood, etc).
  • Have an appropriate size bowl for pets, especially water dishes in hot weather. Also, leave extra dishes in case they become soiled and we need to soak them.
  • If we are visiting after dark, provide an outdoor and indoor timer light so the sitter doesn’t have to walk into a dark house. Especially helpful during the winter months.
  • Leave a radio playing. This helps calm the pets and acts as a crime deterrent.
  • Be sure your sink is clean and free of dirty dishes.
  • Empty your kitchen trash container before you leave.
  • Take our office phone number with you in case of a change in plans.
  • Have fun! And rest assured, we will take excellent care of your pets.

Here are some other helpful hints to protect your home while you are away:

  • Use timers on interior lights to go on at dusk and off at bedtime.
  • Use timers or motion sensors on exterior lights.
  • Don’t stop your mail or paper; your sitter will bring them inside.
  • Don’t discuss your absence in public places.
  • Mow your lawn before you leave in the summer months and arrange for a neighbor to shovel sidewalks in the winter.
  • Put bicycles, outdoor toys and lawn furniture away as they can easily be stolen.
  • Have the sitter alter the lighting pattern in your home.
  • Move any valuable possessions away from windows. Keep a list or photo-history of all your possessions.
  • Let police know you will be gone and ask them to periodically watch your home.
  • Inform your neighbors that a pet sitter will be making stops at your home so that they will not be alarmed by a strange car in your driveway. Give the neighbors (who may be looking out for your property) the sitter’s name and number. They can inform him/her if they see anything suspicious.
  • Please let the sitter know if anyone else will be dropping over to check on the pets or be in your house for any reason.
  • Don’t hide your key outside for the sitter.
  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave a number where you can be reached.

Customer Reminder List

These are some things to have available and things to do before you leave town in order to have your pet care run smoothly.

Items to have within sight for the sitter’s use, if applicable:

  • Can opener
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies
  • Garbage bags (paper and plastic)
  • Newspapers
  • Litter and scoop
  • Pet food, treats, utensils, and an extra set of bowls
  • Medication
  • Toys
  • Plant watering container
  • Hose that reaches to pen and flower gardens
  • Walking leash
  • Towel, in case of rain
  • Dust Buster, or similar sweeper
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Extra litter
  • Extra food