How to write the best instructions for your pet sitter

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How to write the best instructions for your pet sitter

Leaving your pet in good hands while you’re away means writing out clear, comprehensive instructions for your pet sitter. Here’s a few questions that’ll help you complete this crucial step.

Leaving your beloved pet at home is never easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. To ensure that your animal is well looked after when you’re gone, the first step is selecting the right pet sitter. The second step? Leaving the best pet sitting instructions possible.

Here are 5 essential questions to ask yourself when writing out instructions for your sitter:

1. Can your notes be followed?

Arrange everything so it is clear, concise and easy to follow. Type out the notes so your sitter doesn’t have to strain himself reading your handwriting. List things in an order which seems logical, and don’t overload each section with irrelevant details.

If you’re having difficulties, try looking at your notes from another’s eyes. If you were a sitter looking after someone else’s pet, would you be able to make sense of the instructions? You’d want them to tell you everything you need to do, when, and for how long – so be sure to convey all that information to your own sitter.

2. Have you included all food requirements?

Your pet may have the simplest diet in the world, or the most complex – it doesn’t matter. To your pet sitter, everything is new, so spell it all out as clearly and as concisely as you can. Write out what your pet should eat, the amount they should get, and when. Make it obvious, and your sitter will thank you for it.

3. Will it be easy for your pet sitter to find the items you’re referring to?

Make it easy for your pet sitter by including a full inventory of your pet’s items and where everything can be found. Leave sufficient quantities of food and other essentials so your sitter doesn’t have to go to the store while you’re away, and leave everything close at hand. The last thing your sitter wants is to be tearing the place apart searching for food when your pet is hungry.

4. What does your pet’s normal behavior look like?

You know your pet’s personality and quirks, but your pet sitter doesn’t! If he or she has spent time with your pet before, you can probably skip this step. But for anyone who you’ve only met a handful of times, listing your pet’s idiosyncrasies can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and an incredibly stressful one.

How does your pet behave in normal situations? How does your pet react to change? What behaviors does your pet display that might cause your pet sitter to be concerned? Answer these questions so your sitter knows what to expect.

5. Have you included what to do in an emergency?

This is an essential point, but easy to overlook. No one wants to think about a worst-case scenario, but it’s still important to provide details of what should be done and who should be contacted if things go awry. They probably won’t, but at least you can rest safe knowing that you put a plan in place if they do.

Before you set your instructions aside, read them over one more time. Does everything make sense? Are they thorough and easy to follow? If you are concerned that the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, then make some changes. If everything looks good, then your work is done!