Pet sitting services are available for all kinds of animals, from dogs and cats to pet birds and reptiles. If you have a new pet such as a puppy or rescue dog, you may be wondering when they'll be ready to stay at a pet sitter's home. Here are a few questions that can help you figure it out.
1. Is your dog housetrained?
If your dog isn't fully housetrained, you'll want to complete his or her house training before you engage pet sitting services. This is especially important if you're having your pet stay over at the pet sitter's house. Ideally, you'll want to train your dog to communicate when they need to go outside as well.
If your dog is incontinent (due to a health condition or old age), you could alternatively provide pet diapers. But in this case, you'll have to make sure your sitter knows up front that they'll be changing diapers in addition to more typical care tasks.
2. Is your dog well socialized?
Pet sitters may be caring for multiple pets at any one time, and may even have pets of their own. So you'll want to make sure your dog is well socialized and great at getting along with other pets. You don't want to have a situation where you drop your dog off at a pet sitter's house and then have to immediately take them home again because of a personality conflict with other dogs.
3. Is your dog vaccinated?
Leaving your pet at a place with several other pets can present an above-zero risk of communicable illness, just like taking your dog to the dog park or the boarding kennel. While the risk is small, you'll want to ensure your dog is completely vaccinated to reduce any chances that they'll come down with kennel cough or some other illness at any of these locations.
In addition, your pet sitter may have a policy to only work with pets that are fully vaccinated. This is common among pet sitters but also doggy daycares, boarding kennels, and similar facilities. After all, the sitter doesn't want any of their clients' pets to get sick.
4. Is your dog an obedience school graduate?
A dog that's well-behaved and understands what they're being told to do is a delight to have around. A dog that doesn't obey and doesn't listen, on the other hand, can be a liability and more difficult to take care of. To help your pet sitter take better care of your dog, make sure your dog takes obedience classes.
These questions can help you decide whether your dog is ready to start working with a pet sitter. In some cases, you may be able to have a pet sitter care for your dog at your own home if your dog is still shy around other dogs. However, you'll still need to make sure your dog behaves well with humans (including strangers), and that they're vaccinated and house trained.