Leaving your dog in the hands of another person’s care is never an easy decision to make- but sadly, it’s sometimes necessary. Whether you’re heading off on a well-deserved holiday, business trip, or something else altogether, there are (unfortunately) some places where our dogs can’t follow us.
When the time comes to call the aid of a dogsitter, there are a number of decisions to be made. Is it best to enlist the help of a friend or family member, or perhaps a professional sitter? Should you add housesitting to the list of responsibilities, or let your dog go into someone else’s home?
The only person who can make these decisions with certainty is you- nobody knows your dog better than you! But here are a few things to keep in mind when weighing up the pros and cons of every decision. It can feel overwhelming, but relax- keep calm and you’ll be at your best.
Do your research on their history
This point is especially valid if you’re deciding to employ the skills of a professional dog sitter. There are a large number of pros to enlisting the aid of a professional- they’re more likely to be well-equipped in the event of an emergency, and are, not to mention, more likely to be able to handle your dog’s temperament (whatever that may be) in general.
However, despite how good at their job they may claim to be, every dog sitter is still, at the end of the day, a stranger. Ask to see a website (if they’ve got one) and check out the reviews and testimonies they’ve got from past clients. If possible, don’t be afraid to email individuals directly regarding their experience with that dog sitter.
Better safe than sorry- there’s nothing wrong with being careful about who you entrust with the precious life of your pooch.
Make sure your dog is in peak health
Before leaving, spend some quality time with your dog. Not only will this help to keep you both in the best possible moods before the departure, but it will help you catch any strange behaviors if there are any.
The last thing you want is to leave your dog behind with someone who doesn’t know them as well as you do, and for them to fall ill. A lot of early warning signs for disease come in the form of subtle behavioral changes- something you’re much more likely to notice if you know that dog’s individual habits.
Make the environment as familiar as possible
Wherever your dog ends up while being dog sat (and for however long), do whatever you can to keep the majority of the experience familiar to them. This will help to minimize stress and keep your dog’s well-being as positive as possible.
Keep them on the same diet (trusted, as shown by Freshpet dog food reviews) and surround them with as many of their beloved items as possible.