The Ultimate Free Printable Dog Sitter Checklist

This free printable dog sitter checklist includes both an information sheet for the sitter as well as a comprehensive checklist for you. Travel confidently knowing that you’ve prepared your sitter, your dog, and yourself to have a safe and stress-free experience while you are away. 

mini dapple dachshund dog laying in suitcase filled with clothes

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When Traveling with Your Pup isn’t Possible

Although most of us would probably love to take our dog everywhere (and they would love to go everywhere with us), sometimes that is just not possible.

Long flights, non-pet-friendly accommodations, or high-stress environments can make travel uncomfortable or even harmful for your pet.

In such cases, the best thing you can do is arrange for a trusted sitter to care for your dog at your home or theirs. And in these situations, a comprehensive and detailed plan for your dog sitter is crucial.

This ensures that your dog remains happy, healthy, and secure in your absence.

Download your free dog sitter checklist

Just want to grab the checklist? I get it. Skip right to the download link. Or if you don’t have time to get into all the details now, save the below pin for later.

title of how to prepare your pet sitter when you have to travel without your pup with list of important steps

Why You Need a Printable Dog Sitter Checklist

A printable dog sitter checklist is an invaluable tool for pet owners. It provides a structured and organized way to communicate all the important information your dog sitter needs to know.

This not only includes the day-to-day routine but also essential details like emergency contacts, medical issues, and specific needs of your pet.

Having a pet sitter checklist ensures that nothing is forgotten, giving you peace of mind and helping your pet have a good time even when you’re not there.

three dogs in kitchen looking at camera

Benefits of Using a Checklist

  • Organization: It keeps all important details in one place, something your sitter will likely appreciate!
  • Clarity: Sometimes in the pre-trip rush, details can be missed. A comprehensive list ensures clear communication of your pet’s needs.
  • Preparation: Your sitter will be prepared for any situation, including emergencies.
  • Peace of Mind: You’ll have more peace of mind, knowing that everything is taken care of and all the details have been covered.

Essential Details for Your Dog Sitter

Leaving behind detailed instructions and important information for your dog sitter is crucial for ensuring the best care for your pet.

Here is a comprehensive list of the most critical details you should provide:

  • Contact Details: Your cell phone number, email address, and date of return.
  • Emergency Contacts: The contact details of your vet and an emergency vet clinic in the local area, as well as the contact information of a close family member or friend in case you can’t be reached.
  • Daily Routine: Detailed instructions on your dog’s daily schedule, including feeding and walking times.
  • Pet Food: Specific instructions on the type and amount of food your dog needs, including any treats.
  • Medical Care: Detailed instructions on what to do in case your dog needs medicine or other care.
  • Favorite Toys: A list of your dog’s favorite toys and where they are kept.
  • Dog Poop Bags: Location of dog poop bags and disposal instructions.
  • Other Pet Information: Your dog’s health history, including any medical conditions, allergies, and special instructions.
  • Household Items: Location of essential pet care and other items such as cleaning supplies, and dog grooming tools.
  • Security: Instructions on using your home security system, including any security codes, the wifi password for personal use, and the location of a spare key.
  • House Rules: Any specific house rules or areas that are off-limits to your pet.
  • Local Area Tips: Information about the local area, such as good places for walks and any potential hazards.

Making the Preparations

To ensure everything goes smoothly while you’re away, you need to make several preparations. Here are the main things you should consider.

Prepare the Pet Sitter

  • Meet and Greet: Have a meeting with the sitter to introduce them to your dog and familiarize them with your home.
  • Walkthrough: Give the sitter a thorough tour of your home, pointing out important areas and items.

    Alternatively, if your pup will be staying in the sitter’s home, do a home visit to ensure you are comfortable with the living situation.
  • Detailed Pet Instructions: Go over the dog sitter instructions template to ensure they understand all the necessary information.

    This should also include your pet’s medical records, including up-to-date vaccine information.
  • Emergency Procedures: Explain what to do in case of an emergency, including vet visits and who to contact.
  • Security: Ensure the sitter knows how to use your security system and has access to any necessary codes.

    Also, don’t forget to leave them with a set of house keys! 
  • Local Area: Provide information about the local area, including nearby parks, walking routes, and any potential hazards.

Prepare Your Home

  • Clean Home: Leave a clean home for both your pet and the sitter.
  • Safety Check: Ensure your home is safe and secure for your pet. Remove any hazards and make sure all doors and windows are secure.
  • Supplies: Stock up on all the supplies your sitter will need, including food, treats, toys, and cleaning supplies.
  • Accessible Essentials: Make sure all essential items like dog food, water bowls, and dog poop bags are easy to find.
  • Spare Key: Leave a spare key in a secure location and inform the sitter.

Prepare Your Pup

  • Vet Check: If your dog has any medical issues, consider a vet visit before you leave to ensure they are in good health.
  • General Care: Groom your dog and ensure they are up-to-date on any medications. Also make sure to refill medications in advance if necessary.
  • Routine Adjustment: If there will be any changes to your dog’s routine while you’re away, start making those adjustments a few days before you leave.
  • Familiarization: Spend time with the sitter and your dog together before leaving.
  • Separation Practice: If possible, do a short trial run to see how your dog adjusts to the sitter’s care.
  • Exercise: Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise before you go to help them settle more easily.
  • Comfort Items: Leave out some comfort items for your dog, like their favorite blanket or bed.

    And, of course, make sure their favorite toys are accessible! These familiar items will help your dog feel secure while you’re away.
mini dapple dachshund dog laying in suitcase filled with clothes

Prepare Yourself

  • Checklist Verification: Double-check your printable dog sitter checklist to ensure all important details are covered.

    And ensure you have filled out all the necessary information on the pet care information sheet.
  • Contact Info: Leave your contact details with the sitter to ensure they have a way to reach you at all times. Also include information for a backup contact person.

    And ensure you have the sitter’s contact information as well.
  • Emergency Plan: Make sure you have a plan in case of an emergency and that you have provided all necessary information to the sitter.
  • Peace of Mind: Take comfort in knowing you’ve prepared thoroughly and that your dog is in good hands.

The Ultimate Printable Dog Sitter Checklist

To make things easier, I’ve created the ultimate (and free) printable dog sitter checklist.

Actually, I created two documents to ensure your time away from your pup goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Pet Care Information Sheet: Print out this sheet, fill in the important details, and review it with your sitter for a smooth and worry-free experience…for both you and your dog.

    If you have more than one pet, it’s a good idea to make a copy for each of your dogs (or cats). This way your sitter has all the necessary information to provide the best care possible for each of your unique fur babies!
  • Pet Sitter Checklist: Before you head out for your trip, use this handy checklist to ensure you’ve taken care of all the most important things for your sitter, your dog, your house, and yourself! 
Download your FREE copy of this handy Pet Care Information Sheet AND Pet Sitter Checklist before your next trip!
preview of printable pet care information sheet and pet sitter checklist

FAQs: Dog Sitter Checklist

What information should I leave for my dog sitter?

Essential contact details, emergency contacts, your dog’s medical history, daily routine, feeding instructions, favorite toys, and security information.

How can I prepare my dog sitter for emergencies?

Leave detailed instructions and contact information for your vet and an emergency clinic. Discuss the emergency plan with your sitter beforehand.

How do I make sure my home is safe for my dog while I’m away?

Conduct a safety check to remove hazards, secure doors and windows, and stock up on supplies.

What are some good pet sitters’ best practices?

Good pet sitters should be familiar with your dog’s routine, know how to handle emergencies, and have experience with pets.

What if my dog has specific needs or medical conditions?

Clearly outline any specific needs or medical conditions in the printable dog sitter checklist. Provide detailed medication instructions and the vet’s contact information.

How can I make my dog more comfortable with a new sitter?

Arrange a meet and greet before you leave, provide comfort items, and ensure the sitter follows your dog’s routine as closely as possible.

How do I find the right dog sitter?

Look for experienced sitters with good reviews, conduct interviews, and arrange a trial run if possible.

What should I do if my dog doesn’t adjust well to the sitter?

Ensure the sitter is patient and follows your dog’s routine. Consider shorter trips initially to help your dog adjust.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Each post reflects both my research and my personal experiences (as well as those of my pups). Always contact your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s routine, trying out new toys and activities, and introducing new foods. Every dog is different, and what works for my furry family may not work for yours.

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