Making sure your dog is well cared for

How do you make sure that everything is ok during sitter stay? After returning, everything can be fine - a calm dog, a clean house. But how do I know that this was the case during the sitter’s stay?

Also how do you communicate with your sitter during the time you’re away?

Got any tips?

Hello @Arachne23

It is great that you have come to the forum for some reassurance and I am sure that there are some sitters and owners on here that have tips and advice on this.

As a sitter myself and a previous doggy mum, I know that if the pet is happy and content then that is a great sign. We always try if possible to hand back over to the owners when they return and normally we will be saying our goodbyes to the pets and the owners will see how settled and happy the pets were with us.
We also ask the owners how much they would like to be communicated with during the sit and then depending on the owner’s requirements send photos, videos and messages updating about the pet during our stay. Our preferred method is WhatsApp, as it is easy and accessible.
We also build up as much of a rapport with the owner as possible before our stay, which helps build the relationship and trust.

I hope that helps Carla.

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You know your pet, and they will definitely let you know if something is wrong. Even if it’s just a cluttered house, pets can become easily upset by changes to their environment. Changes in appetite and bathroom behavior will be obvious if anything was greatly amiss in your absence (even if the sitter cleaned up everything. ) A daily update is perfectly acceptable to ask for, and I always offer to be available more for nervous parents. So, you can ask about their meals for example when you get the daily update. Also, seeing a video can be very calming to the pet parent because you get to see the full body language and hear your dog. So ask for a short video update. I have scheduled video calls as well for owners who miss their babies.
It’s all up to the sitter, find someone easy to communicate with (that’s the number one rule for house sitting) and you will be good!
Edit: but if your dog doesn’t eat much while you’re gone, that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with your sitter! That’s pretty normal at least for the first few days. Then the dog should become relaxed and have normal habits. If they don’t get back to a normal healthy appetite and bathroom routine, then maybe something was bothering the dog and you should discuss with the sitter.

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Personally I would say: if the house is clean at my arrival, it doesn’t matter how it looked before. If your dog was not cared for properly I think you would notice, but you might never know about minor shortcomings. We send pictures 2x per day, sometimes more. You might want to ask your sitters for updates as well, if you are concerned. Most people use WhatsApp for that, but we always ask the HO what their preferred mode of communication is.

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This is where the 'Trust’ of Trustedhousesitters kicks in

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As a pet owner this is something you think about when finding a groomer, doggy day care, kennel or even a vet (surgeries or procedures you aren’t present for).

If you’ve done your due diligence in checking them out, asking questions and you feel comfortable and confident then that’s all you can do.

Just make sure you’re choosing someone that you feel the most connected with in terms of house and pet care. Don’t choose someone because you’ve had little applications or you’re close to a date and feeling pressured.

Honestly we have back ups in place if we don’t find anyone. We love the idea of allowing others to travel and have a warm loving environment with our animals during their time. If that doesn’t workout (not a guarantee anytime or everytime).

I agree with comments above that you will know. Your pets will have their way of showing you if they were happy or not.

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