The ONLY national non-profit organization for professional pet sitters.

Prepare Your Home Before You Go Away


If you are going to be away for a while, take steps to make sure everything is taken care of before you go.

  • Double-check your home to make sure it is pet-proofed. Bored pets can chew or destroy things that are left within reach. Make sure wires and cords are out of the way. If you have irreplaceable or fragile items, move them to a room your pets can't access.
  • If you have a fenced yard, make sure there are no holes, weak spots, or loose panels that a pet can escape through. 
  • If you do have a pet that's known to escape, let your pet sitter know!
  • Make sure doors and windows are locked before you leave, and make sure your pet sitter has the key. NEVER hide a key under the doormat or anywhere near the door. 
  • Leave a piece of clothing that you've recently worn near where your pet sleeps as a reminder of you.
  • Display the name and phone number of your vet in a prominent place.  Show it to the pet sitter before departing.
  • Place out appropriate food and water bowls for your pet's use.  Clean them beforehand.
  • Put everything needed for your pet's care in a specific area so the sitter doesn't have to search for leashes, food or medications.  Let the sitter know where these items are. And make sure they are well out of reach of your pets!
  • If the sitter will be coming in the evening, hook up a timer light so he/she will not have to come to a dark house. It will be homier for your pet as well.
  • Some pets, especially those accustomed to having people or children in the house, appreciate background noise such a s aTV or radio. It helps drown out noises from outside, and can also help deter crime.
  • Select a neighbor to keep an eye on your place while you're gone.
  • Let your neighbor know that a pet sitter will be coming to your home while you're away. 
  • Provide a neighbor with a key in case of an emergency, inclement weather or in the event the pet sitter cannot make a scheduled visit.
  • Give the pet sitter the neighbor's name and phone number.
Safety is Key

Do as much as possible to ensure that things are safe and secure before you go away.
  • Unplug any electrical appliances that will not be used to prevent injury to pets or damage during an electrical storm.
  • Close the door on the clothes dryer.
  • Clean up anything that might be accidentally swallowed by your pet (Christmas tree tinsel, pine needles, string, ribbon or other holiday items).
  • Never leave your pet in the garage.  Too many toxic substances may be stored there. If you feel you must, scrupulously pet-proof the garage first.
  • Make sure that indoor pets are inside.
  • If your cat(s) escape(s) beforehand, let the sitter know to look for the animal(s) outside. Please remember that while your cat may come when called for you, they may not be comfortable coming to a pet sitter unless they know them well.