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List for House-Sitter/Dog-Walker

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by ?uesto, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. ?uesto

    ?uesto Loaded Pockets

    Jan 11, 2010
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    Hey guys, just need some advice.

    This is the first time I'll be going away since I've lived on my own, and since I have a dog now, I'm hiring a trusted friend to come by a few times a day and walk my dog, watch the house, etc.

    So I compiled an Emergency Contact list with my name and number, the home address, and immediate/close family and friends/band members who live anywhere close. I also included local Police Non-Emergency, Poison Control, Animal Control, neighborhood gate/security, and my vet.

    I'm currently compiling a daily-to-do list being as detailed as I can (without insulting her intelligence) about what to do with the dog, getting the mail, AC, lights, TV, etc.

    Just want to know if I'm forgetting anything, if you guys have stuff like this for when you go away, and anything else you can suggest.

    Like I said, this is my first time going away since living on my own, and owning a dog (I'm 19/in college) and I have to go to New York for a week for my grandmother's unveiling/family togetherness.

    Any help would be hugely appreciated!

  2. Fabregas485
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fabregas485 Loaded Pockets

    Jun 28, 2012
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    Well, at the end rememeber to put thank you. :p

    Maybe list the location of the keys for house, so they can use the back door/windows etc if needed.
  3. FunctionMode

    FunctionMode Loaded Pockets

    Dec 14, 2010
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    At one point in time I did this kind of work professionally.

    I was never insulted by overly detailed instructions. In fact I was grateful because it made my job 1000x easier. It doesn't come off as insulting to me; it is just a sign that you love your pet.

    Some things that really help, but most people overlook:
    -Keep the instructions down to one TYPED page and use bullet points. It's very hard to reference particular instructions when they are in the middle of a paragraph. This goes especially for multi-page instructions.
    -Have very detailed instructions on food portions/procedure
    -Have more food in the house than you think they'll need and tell them where it is (It runs out more often than you might think)
    -Have all walking supplies(leash, plastic bags, treats?, etc...) set out in one area
    -Tell them where cleaning supplies are in case of "accidents" (I can't tell you how many times I've had to rifle through every storage area in the house to find this stuff)
    -Have a broom/dustpan in plain sight. If you give them an easy option for sweeping up little messes(spilled food, etc...) they will do it
    -Tell them exactly where to and how to dispose of trash("droppings," paper towels, food cans, anything else disposable)
    -Tell them where to put mail/newspaper
    -Set out some of the dog's favorite toys so they know what the dog likes to play with
    -There are more, but I haven't done this in a while and am having trouble recalling everything. I'll post more as I think of it.

    95% of the houses I did would not have these instructions and it could easily add another 30+ minutes to the visit because I was searching for everything(trashcans in particular). This left me with less time to play with the animals as a result.

    For me, an ideal instruction sheet required zero thinking. If I could just read down a list and perform those tasks I was ecstatic. This makes the job easier and less stressful which results in more attention and better care for the dog.
    Last edited by FunctionMode, Aug 2, 2012
  4. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

    May 8, 2009
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    Make sure they know where the main water shut off valve is. When I travel, even when I have someone coming by to check on the dog, I still fill a big plastic tub with water to leave out just in case. They might get skinny if ignored for a few days, and the place will stink, but as long as they have water all is good.
  5. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    Jun 24, 2011
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    Sign a paper giving them permission to take your dog to the Vet. We had to sign one for our doggy day care. Vets are afraid of lawsuits as much as doctors these days.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. xbanker
    • Administrator

    xbanker Geriatric Admin
    Staff Member

    Apr 5, 2006
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    Once or twice a year, we use a dog sitter. Looks like you've pretty well got the based covered, and great input from the others who've commented.

    You say "trusted friend," so assume she's "met" your pup before. If not, have her come over a day or so before your departure for a "get acquainted" meeting. If you haven't, might want to stash a spare house key outside the house ... just in case the one you give her goes missing. It happens. On the list of other close friends/family you're giving her, might want to designate one as *the one* to call if something comes up and they're needed to step in (in case your puppy-sitter has unanticipated emergency).

    She'll be spending some time at your home couple times a day. Might want to stock a few of her favorite snacks. We did that for our teenage sitter who lives in our neighborhood. She appreciated it.
  7. Rpuppet
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Rpuppet Loaded Pockets

    May 29, 2008
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    You'll probably want to let your trusted neighbors know what's going on as well. A well meaning neighbor could cause complications for your trusted assistant.