How to take the stress out of leaving your dog with a dog sitter
By Asa Gislason
Practical dog sitting tips
Many dogs, and dog owners, hate spending time a part. No matter how dedicated dog owner you are, there is likely to come the time when you have to get someone else to look after your dog for a while. It can be because you are going on a holiday and cannot take your dog with you, or due to some emergency, e.g. hospital stay.
You may be so lucky to have someone you and your dog trust to look after him when needed. Like a trusted family member or a friend. This is of course the ideal situation. Your dog knows the dog sitter and is therefore likely to be less anxious without you. The dog sitter may even be able to move into your home while you are away, minimizing the changes in your dog's life.
Many dog owners though have to rely on professional dog sitting services. Fortunately, there are number of options in those cases. There are dog boarding kennels and home boarding, either in the dog sitter home or your own home. It's up to you and your dog do decide which option works best for you.
How to find the right dog sitter?
Before choosing your professional dog sitting service go and visit them, ideally with your dog. Things you may want to consider include:
- Are the facilities clean, safe and dog friendly
- Where will your dog be staying, i.e. in a kennel, in the house
- What kind of exercise will your dog get, and is it suitable for your dog
- Will your dog be left alone and if so, for how long maximum
- There are likely to be other dogs, will your dog get on with them
- Are there children, will your dog get on with them
- Last but not least, do you trust the dog sitter for your dog
If you bring your dog with you, then you can see for yourself how the dog sitter interacts with your dog. The best dog sitter is not necessarily the one that makes the most fuss over you dog, but the one that knows how to deal with strange dogs… especially if they are nervous types.
Tips for leaving your dog with dog sitter
Most dogs adjust quickly to their surroundings, that's how they have become so successful as species. It does not mean they don't miss you and your home, it's just that they accept the changes and do their best to fit in their new environment.
It will defiantly help if you go and see the dog sitter first with your dog. He will then be familiar with the dog sitter and the surroundings.
You may want to exercise your dog well before dropping him off. It will make him tired so more likely to settle quickly. On the other hand, your dog sitter may want to start bonding with your dog by exercising him. Just discuss this with your dog sitter in advance.
Leave familiar stuff with your dog, including some of his favorite toys and treat. Some leave something with their smell on it, like worn t-shirt, or blanket.
Make sure you pack everything your dog needs for a comfortable stay with the dog sitter. Your dog boarding packing list looks something like this:
- Food and treats to last the whole stay
- Food and water bowls
- Grooming equipment's
- Medication (if you dogs needs any)
- Poop bags
- Some toys to keep your dog occupied
- Something for comfort, e.g. soft toy, blanket, something with your smell
- Something to sleep on, ideally his bed
- Crate (if needed)
- His collar and leash (long and short)
- Instructions about your dog feeding and other routine
- Your contact number in case of an emergency
- Your Vet number in case of an emergency
Click on the photo to download and print your FREE dog sitting packing list.
Make sure your dog's tags include contact number that will be answered, i.e. not your home number if no one is at home. It is best to put temporary tag on your dog with the dog sitters contact numbers and address.
If your dog is very nervous type and suffers from serious separation anxiety, then you may need to work on it before leaving him with a third party. Natural calming aid for dogs, like maxxicalm, may also help those dogs to settle quicker with the dog sitter. For best results, you should start giving them to your dog few weeks before leaving him with your professional dog sitter.
Balance your dog’s behaviour from the inside
As dog owners, we know which situations upset our dogs. For some it’s being left alone, for others it’s trips to the vet, thunderstorms, or unexpected visitors.
Whether it’s part of their nature or an understandable reaction to difficult life circumstances, such as rescue dogs that were previously abused, maxxicalm can be an integral part of helping you create more balanced behaviour in your dog.Read more
- Helps anxious and nervous dogs relax during stressful situations
- Integral part of a behaviour modification program to create balance
- Relaxation without drowsiness