I know something’s up a week before they go. This big black object gets brought into the house (I have since learned this is a suitcase). Clothes, shoes and other nick naks I try to put in my mouth are being moved around constantly and there’s talk of passports, whatever that is.
My owners are going away on a holiday. Without me. Did you hear that?
This is my first time I won’t be with either mum or dad since I came to live here at 8 weeks old. But please, my name is Grizzle and I’m not afraid of anything. Because I live in what humans call a multi pet household, mum booked the fabulous Ellie from Haines Hounds to house sit instead of splitting up our care. Let’s just say kennels were never on the agenda, however it is common for dogs like me to go to other people’s houses for home boarding. But Pancake the cat could never leave the house, he’d die of fright, and the hens also need their usual garden for free ranging, so it actually works out much cheaper for someone to come stay in your own home and also means your house looks lived in too (sorry thieves!!!).
Since I’m such a clever dog I’m going to share with you below some of my top tips that you can pass on to your owners next time they decide to be cruel and leave you alone as they jet off on fancy holidays like mine have just done (shhhh don’t tell them we really don’t care they’re gone) 🙂
- Meet the pet sitter in your home and go through all of the particulars about the house, the pets, feeding routines, likes/dislikes and general home info (don’t forget alarm codes, checking the spare key works correctly and explaining how the telly and internet work)
- Type up all the same info and print out for the pet sitter. This gives you time to remember all the things you may have forgot to cover in the meeting and also means the pet sitter doesn’t have to take loads of notes at the meeting and can instead spend their time listening. Mum actually divided this up into different sections so the info was easy to find: Food, Walks, Sleeping, Insurance, Home, Other
- Sign a contract and an Off Lead Disclaimer Form (if you are happy for your dog to be walked off lead in your absence) or include a letter if you want them kept on lead
- Provide an emergency contact telephone number – one that the pet sitter can reach you on when you are gone
- Make sure your pets’ registration, ID tags etc are up to date and secure
- Buy plenty of food for the entire trip, plus some extra. If any pets are on special diets make sure to discuss this with the pet sitter in advance, and also leave further instructions in your printed notes. If food is awkward to prepare then leave bags of pre-prepped food so that feeding is a straight forward job
- Set aside all your favourite treats on one shelf in the fridge or cupboard. Don’t leave it to your pet sitter to search for things hidden deep within the kitchen
- Leave out your dogs collar, leads, poo bags, harnesses and any other dog walking items
- If you have a cat or other small furries then don’t forget to cover their particulars and leave out all their care items (for instance, my brother Pancake has little cotton swabs for his eyes, special raw meat baggies and a brush as he’s a short hair Persian cat)
- Ensure there’s plenty of household essentials in the cupboards along with pet safe cleaning product should anyone have a little “accident”
- Collect up possibly injurious articles and substances, and either dispose of them or put them out of your pets’ reach. Also prevent your pets from getting into and out of areas which could lead to harm
- Before you go away make sure to clean the house top to bottom ready for your pet sitter. There is nothing more gross than leaving a house dirty for a guest and I can’t underestimate how long a proper clean may take you. Set aside a good half day for this task and do it properly (this includes dusting all surfaces, light fixtures, bed edges, etc)
- Make up the bed for your pet sitter and close the door to their bedroom so it stays nice and fresh, free from pet hairs and other nasties
- Shut any doors that the pets should not have access to while you’re on holiday and give the house a final vacuum before departing
In summary, I think the most important thing to consider when booking a holiday where pets are not allowed is that you find someone you really trust to look after them. Once you find a super reliable, knowledgeable and friendly pet sitter then you need to make their life easy by leaving comprehensive details about your pets and the house they are staying in so that they can just crack on with looking after your furries.
I hope you found this blog helpful, if you did then go on and share it with your friends and family, not everyone is as clever as me….
And P.S. I did miss mum and dad …. I just put on a brave face!