If you’re going out of town, you might not want to go through the hassle of bringing your pet with you. Taking a pet on vacation involves either paying to bring them on the plane or dealing with them on a long car ride. Plus, it can be much more difficult to find pet-friendly hotels. Boarding your pet at a kennel or hiring a pet sitter are both great options for when you go out of town. However, you can’t just drop your pet off without any planning. Here are the things your pet sitter or boarder needs to know before you leave on vacation.

Emergency Contacts
Whoever is watching your pet needs information about who to contact in case of an emergency. They should have at least one way of contacting you, but you should also leave the number of a trusted friend, family member or neighbor who will be home just in case. You should also leave your veterinarian’s information and phone number, as well as an after-hours number, for medical emergencies.

Medical Information
A sitter or kennel needs to know if your pet has any medical issues they should be aware of. This includes existing conditions, allergies, and medical history. If your pet will need to take any medicines while you’re away, make sure you have enough on hand. Let the sitter or kennel know the dosage, or measure out doses yourself before you leave. They should also know where to get more if need be.

Diet Information
If your pet has allergies or eats a specific diet, let the sitter or boarder know. This is more important at a kennel, since many sitters will come to your house and use the food and treats you have there. A boarder may use their own treats or food, so give specifics about what your pet can and can’t eat. When in doubt, you can ask if you can provide your own food and snacks with instructions.

Routines
Pets are like small children. They thrive and are best behaved when they are following a routine. This is particularly important when hiring a sitter. Many kennels will have their own systems in place, since they usually look after many animals at once. Sitters, however, should know your pet’s routines since they probably won’t be watching your pet constantly throughout the day. If your dog typically has to use the bathroom at the same time every day, let the sitter know so your pooch isn’t holding it (or has an accident inside). They should be aware of feeding times, walk times, play times and anything else.

Identification
If your pet is micro chipped (they should be!), let the sitter or kennel know. If your pet does get lost, they’ll know to inform local shelters and vets to keep an eye out for the microchip. If your pet does escape and is turned in to a vet or shelter that checks the chip, the sitter will be able to provide the information and prove they are watching your pet.

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