How to prepare a pet sitter to care for your senior pet.

Julia Dicconson
Content Manager
June 28, 2023

As pet owners, we know that our furry friends are an important part of our families. When it comes to leaving town or going on vacation, it can be challenging to find suitable care for our senior pets. 

Hiring a pet sitter who is well-prepared and knowledgeable about senior pet care is crucial to ensure your beloved companion receives the care they deserve. In this blog post, we will discuss essential steps to help you prepare a pet sitter to care for your senior pet.

What does a pet sitter do?

A pet sitter takes care of pets when their owners are away. They feed them, provide water, exercise them, and play with them to keep them happy. They may also give medications if needed, offer companionship, and ensure the pets' basic grooming needs are met. 

Pet sitters monitor the pets' health and behaviour, clean litter boxes or cages, and may perform house-sitting tasks as well. The main goal is to keep the pets safe, comfortable, and well-cared for in the absence of their owners.

Important considerations when hiring a pet sitter.

When searching for a pet sitter, it's important to keep a few key things in mind. By taking these points into consideration, you can ensure your pet receives the right care while you're away.

Find a qualified and experienced pet sitter.

Prioritise finding someone with experience in caring for senior pets. Look for professionals who are familiar with common health issues and have the skills to handle them effectively. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your veterinarian. Additionally, consider hiring a pet sitter who is certified in pet first aid and CPR for added peace of mind.

Schedule an initial meeting.

Once you've identified potential pet sitters, schedule an initial meeting with each candidate. During this meeting, introduce your senior pet to the sitter and observe their interaction. Pay attention to how the sitter engages with your pet and assess their level of comfort and confidence. 

This meeting is an opportunity to discuss your pet's specific needs, routine, medications, and any special instructions regarding their care, as well as payment for their services.

Steps to prepare a pet sitter for looking after your senior pet.

When entrusting the care of your senior pet to a pet sitter, it's essential to take a few steps to ensure their wellbeing. By following these preparations, you can provide the sitter with the necessary information and set your senior pet up for a comfortable and safe experience.

  1. Provide detailed care instructions.

To ensure your pet receives the best care, provide the pet sitter with detailed instructions. Include information about your pet's dietary requirements, meal schedules, portion sizes, and any food allergies or sensitivities they may have. It is also important to consider:

  • Demonstrating tasks: Show the pet sitter how to administer medications, handle mobility aids (if necessary), and any other specialised care procedures.
  • Highlighting behavioural considerations: Inform the pet sitter about your pet's temperament, anxiety triggers, likes, and dislikes, helping them establish a positive rapport with your senior pet.
  • Detailing physical capabilities: Inform the pet sitter about your senior pet's ability to exercise, any limitations in mobility, and any observable signs or symptoms to be mindful of.
  1. Share contact information.

It is crucial to provide the pet sitter with your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and an emergency contact in case of any unexpected situations. Provide the contact details of your veterinarian as well, so the sitter can quickly reach out for professional advice if necessary. Make sure the sitter knows how to reach you at any time and inform them about any specific instructions regarding communication.

  1. Prepare an emergency plan.

In case of an emergency, it's important to have a plan in place. Create a document that includes your pet's medical history, any existing health conditions, and a list of emergency contacts. Inform the pet sitter about the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinics or hospitals and provide directions to these facilities. If your pet requires specialised care or has specific health issues, consider preparing a written guide with step-by-step instructions for the sitter to follow.

  1. Allow time for familiarisation.

Before leaving your senior pet in the care of the pet sitter, schedule a trial period where the sitter can spend time with your pet while you are present. This will allow your pet to become familiar with the sitter's presence and build a bond. It also gives the sitter an opportunity to observe your pet's behaviour and preferences.

Final thoughts on how to prepare a pet sitter to care for your senior pet.

Senior pets require special attention and care due to their specific needs and potential health issues. If you’re heading away for one night, a trusted friend or family member might suffice, but a sitter may need more specialised experience with an older pet for a week or longer.

By finding a knowledgeable and experienced pet sitter who understands these unique requirements, we can ensure that our beloved senior companions receive the care and support they deserve while we are away.

Don’t wait until the very end. It’s important to consider your pet’s end-of-life journey early, so that you, your family and your pet are all supported through the process.

When the time comes, we’re here for you. Goodbye Good Boy provides a range of end-of-life services to make the difficult process of saying goodbye a little easier. 

We offer quality of life assessments from qualified vets, specialist grief counselling, at home euthanasia from dedicated end of life veterinarians, as well as cremation services and memorial options to help remember your pet for their unique character.

We are with you at every step of the journey.

To find out more, you can call our team of passionate pet lovers on 1800 953 619.