Advice: Add your sitter as authorized carer with your veterinarian

Hi all homeowners and sitters!

I have been sitting a very lovely dog and cat for a couple of weeks, with one week left to go.

The dog started having red, itchy, discharge-y eyes yesterday, so I phoned their vet today. They said she does not have allergies, so I should bring her in.

But here’s the rub: The owners need to authorize me as a carer in order for the vet to see her.

This makes sense to me (e.g., what if the dog had been stolen and I was pretending I was a pet-sitter in order to get free care from the owners’ account!!), but I thought it was important to share this vital information with you all so you can prevent issues in the future.

The owners are several time zones away and are not available at the moment to send an email to their vet authorizing me as a carer.

So I will have to wait to get the poor doggie seen until that happens.

Luckily, she is not in horrible distress, she is just droopy and uncomfortable. But I wish we all had known that this kind of authorization would be necessary in case something happened.

Pet-owners take heed: When your sitter arrives, take a minute to call your vet and put the sitter on your account as an authorized carer.

Happy Holidays everyone!


Hi @Haubigut thank you for sharing your experience and excellent advice.

There are a few important pet well being steps pet parents/owners should take, as you quite rightly say let their veterinarian know they will be away and who the authorised carer is.

When possible, depending on their relationship with their clinic, make financial arrangements in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Whilst not easy or something any pet parent/owner wants to contemplate letting their veterinarian know, in writing, their wishes in the unlikely event of a life threatening situation, especially if they might be uncontactable placing any decision where it should stay, with the pet parents/ owners and clinical professionals, not with the sitter.

I have the discussion with my pet parents/owners, especially with elderly pet family members and especially on extended sits, however animals can get ill at any age and at anytime although thankfully it is a rarity however being prepared can help give peace of mind to everyone concerned.

Good point! As a sitter, I always ask for the vet contact but never thought about being listed as the carer!

Some of the owners I’ve sat for have mentioned me to their vet in advance of going away but not all. Certainly worth bringing up in conversations with the owners before sits.

It is important to have up-to-date credit card information with the vet as well. During my last sit I needed to pick up some prescription items from the vet office and the credit card info on file had expired a few months before. Fortunately they did not require me to pay stating that the owner could come in to pay upon their return.

Thank you @MaggieUU a lot depends on the relationship the pet parent/owner has with their veterinarian. I had one situation where the UK clinic would not hold cc details, there were legitimate reasons for this and I needed to take their elderly cat twice during the 6 week sit, the clinic simply said they would bill on return … the pet parents/owners had been a client of the practice for over 15 years.

1 Like

@Haubigut Thank you for this post. I will certainly add the sitter when we do out of country sits! Something I never thought about.

1 Like

In regards to the vet, as a HO, I have always contacted my vet before leaving to let him know that our pets in in someone else’s care while we are away. We live in Italy but he also speaks English well enough. I’m just a phone call away with WhatsApp. He is also kind enough to bill me when we return so our sitter has no out of pocket expenses for vet bills.

1 Like