Do You Have a Pet Sitter for Emergencies?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
There’s an emergency, and you’ve got to leave home for a few days. Who do you call at the drop of a hat when you need someone to look after your dog?

When you have to go out of town, you may have a friend or family member who can watch your dog. But as more people consider their pets to be members of their family, they want a pro to look after their pooch. It’s not uncommon to have a trusted pet sitter you use on a regular basis… but what happens if an emergency arises and your pet sitter is unavailable? You can’t predict the future but you can prepare for it by having an emergency pet sitter on call.

Related: A Pet Sitter’s Guide For When Friends Are Watching Your Dog

Things to Think About When Choosing an Emergency Sitter

Accidents happen and unexpected changes are a part of life. When something happens that is out of your control and that affects your ability to care for your pets, do you have a backup plan? If not, here are a few things you should think about when choosing an emergency pet sitter:

  1. Does your regular pet sitter have a recommendation, perhaps someone they work with or trust and have used in the past?
  2. Is there a friend or family member who lives close by and who is willing to step in if you need them?

Related: 8 Tips to Hiring an In-Home Pet Sitter

  1. If a friend or family member isn’t available, is there a neighbor or coworker you would trust to take care of your pet?
  2. How will the emergency sitter access your home to care for your pets? Make sure they have a key or that they know the code to the garage – you should also make sure they know the alarm code, just in case.
  3. What will your pet need to stay comfortable in someone else’s care? It’s a good idea to create an emergency kit with a week’s worth of your dog’s food, treats, and medications as well as other things he may need.
  4. Will the emergency sitter know what to do? Leave a set of detailed instructions with your emergency kit, even if your emergency sitter is familiar with your pets – you don’t want to leave anything out.

In addition to making sure that your emergency sitter can access the house and that they know how to care for your pets, you need to work out the details for compensation (if you’re offering any) ahead of time. Ask the person what their rates are or make them an offer. It will save you some hassle and headache later if you work these details out ahead of time.

Where to Find a Last-Minute Sitter

If you find yourself in need of an emergency pet sitter and you haven’t already made arrangements, there are a few places you can look. Your first stop should be friends, family, and neighbors but after you exhaust those options, try your vet for suggestions or hit the Internet to search for pet sitting websites.

If you go with an agency or an independent pet sitter, make sure they have verified credentials because you’ll be allowing them into your home and trusting them with your pet. If all else fails, check for local pet hotels or boarding facilities that accept last-minute reservations.

As stressful as an emergency situation may be for you, it can be just as difficult for your pet. Having a stranger come into their home while you are gone can be frightening, so do your pet a favor and make arrangements ahead of time with an emergency sitter so it will be someone your pet already knows and trusts.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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