We went on vacation and…
We left Moose and Francis with a sitter who we found through Rover while we visited the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cozumel for seven days. We booked our sitter about three months in advance because of how long we would be gone. We wanted an in home sitter because I felt they would be most comfortable in their own home. The booking process was very easy, and ultimately the dogs were cared for but there are a lot of things I wish I had done differently. Here’s a list of them to help your time away go more smoothly for both your dogs and you!
Ask Someone You Know
I wish I had someone who I knew well, like a family member or friend to leave my dogs with during our time away. Our vacation was a family one and everyone went, all my friends were also vacationing for the end of summer so there was no one I knew nearby to care for my dogs. Were that not the case, I would have left them with someone I know well! I love my dogs dearly and our sitter felt too professional, it didn’t feel like she loved and snuggled my dogs but rather gave them food, water and walks to keep them alive.
Talk About Your Lifestyle
Landon and I keep a very eco-conscious household, we turn off all the lights in unoccupied rooms and unplug power adapters. We do not buy paper towels (we have many reusable rags), we recycle, keep the blinds pulled shut and doors closed to avoid using air conditioning more than necessary. We have a security camera and periodically checked in on the sitter to see all the lights on, blinds to our patio door wide open, and the patio sliding door sometimes left open! This obviously drove me a little bit crazy because there was nothing I could do in the middle of the ocean but politely ask her not to do that anymore. Make sure you communicate these things with your house/dog sitter in advance!
Have an Emergency Plan Setup
While we didn’t have any emergencies during the time we were away, Francis and Moose both had some tummy issues. We left the sitter with contact information for two of our neighbors in case something happened and she needed help, we also left her with our CareCredit card to use if one of the dogs needed an emergency vet visit. Always have a back up plan for your pups.
Set Out Supplies For Your Sitter
Before we left, we made sure that the dog food, water, leashes, poo bags, bowls, and other tools were made obvious for her. Before we came home, Hurricane Harvey poured rain on Austin and the sitter needed towels to dry the dogs after coming inside from going potty. Why she decided to use our fluffy white towels instead of our navy and dark purple towels is beyond me, they were in the same cabinet together. But that was something I take responsibility for because I didn’t leave them out in an obvious location because I wasn’t expecting rain. So expect the unexpected!
Help Them Get Comfortable
Whether you’re gone one day or one month, help your sitter feel at home. If your sitter is not happy then your dog is probably not happy either! If they are staying in your home, leave clean sheets and pillows on your bed or couch. Clean your bathroom and set out bath towels and wash cloths. We gave our sitter the wifi password, explained how to use the thermostat and the TV remotes. We also asked our sitter what kinds of snacks and drinks she liked so that we could stock our pantry and fridge for her.