Tips for Hiring the Right Deaf Dog Pet Sitter, Part 2
When I talk about caring for and training a deaf dog, I usually describe it as different, not harder- and this definitely holds true when working with a deaf dog pet sitter. Today, in Part 2 of “Tips for Hiring the Right Deaf Dog Pet Sitter”, I’m sharing tips on preparing your deaf dog pet sitter so she or he can provide the daily care your deaf dog needs, can handle any emergencies or medical conditions that arise and, finally, how to set up emergency back up plans.
Preparing your deaf dog pet sitter and giving them the tools and information they need to know for caring for your deaf dog pet sitter will help your pet sitter meet your expectations and will also help you relax and enjoy that vacation you’ve been planning all year.
If you missed Part 1, where I discussed how to select the right pet sitter who is best equipped to handle the unique differences and challenges of caring for a deaf dog, you may also want to read Part 1 here.
Let’s start with the basics…
Feeding & Dietary Instructions
Though any professional pet sitter will have you fill out a questionnaire or take notes during a meet and greet visit (or both!), it’s a good idea to write down detailed feeding instructions before you leave. This is especially important if you have dogs with different dietary needs due to size or health concerns.
It can be typewritten or, if you’re less particular and have legible handwriting, as simple as a handwritten sheet of paper. You should write down each dog’s name, which food they are fed, how frequently and how much they are fed, what time they normally eat their meals and any dietary supplements they are given.
I email a copy to my pet sitter ahead of time and also place a copy on the refrigerator- you know, just so I can sleep at night while I’m 2000 miles away!
I also label our dog food containers. If you have different dogs eating different types of food, labeling each food container is especially important.
If you feed fresh-prepared food, such as Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm, you have two options:
- You can teach your deaf dog pet sitter how to prepare the food, or
- You can prepare enough of the food ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling or freezer for an even longer shelf life. Of course, this means your pet sitter will need to allow time for this refrigerated or frozen food to warm up.
If your deaf dog is on any special medication, please discuss each one with your pet sitter ahead of time. I also strongly encourage you to write down each medication your dog is taking, how much they should be given and how frequently along with any special instructions, such as “give with a meal”, “give 30 minutes after eating”, etc. This can be a simple handwritten sheet or, if you’re like me and have the handwriting of a serial killer, you can create this on and print it from your computer.
You may also want to label your dog’s medication bottles or packaging with their name to help your pet sitter.
Or if you want to go the extra mile, you can prepare each days medication ahead of time and place them in small resealable plastic bags. You can buy these from most pharmacies for just a few bucks. Labeling each bag with your dog’s name, the date that medication should be given, the time it should be given and how it should be given along with any special instructions (EX: Edison, 4-27-18, AM, give by mouth with food) is probably enough information for most dogs and most medications- but make sure your instructions align with your veterinarian’s instructions!
PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES
This is extremely important!
In the unlikely event of an emergency, it is possible that your pet sitter will not be able to reach you by phone, text message or email. To prepare for this possibility, there are a few things you should get into place before you head to Paris- or whatever destination is calling you!
Below you will find several topics you really should address to make sure your deaf dog’s pet sitter is prepared for any situation.
Leave Emergency Contact Information:
You should leave emergency contact information with your pet sitter. This could be a close friend, family member or trusted neighbor who can assist in an emergency, whether that’s getting locked out of the house or an unexpected medical situation arises. Ideally, your emergency contacts will be familiar with your deaf dog(s) and will have a spare key and alarm code, if needed, to your home.
You should also share your pet sitter’s name and contact information with your emergency contacts and encourage them to connect with one another before you leave.
Before you leave, you should also provide your deaf dog pet sitter with your veterinarian’s contact information, including after-hours instructions- whether that is an after-hours phone number or the name, address and phone number of a nearby, trusted emergency hospital or clinic.
Write Down Your Detailed Travel Itinerary:
Make sure you write down where you will be traveling to, your travel dates, the names, addresses and phone numbers for hotels you will be staying at and which dates you will be staying at these locations. This is especially important if you will be traveling to multiple cities and/or staying at multiple hotels.
Notify Your Veterinarian of Your Travel Plans
You should also notify your veterinarian of your travel plans, make sure they have your cell phone, text messaging service (regular text, WhatsApp, etc.) and your email address- but you should also give them, in writing, the name and contact information for your pet sitter so they know who is caring for your deaf dog.
You should designate someone- whether that is your pet sitter or a different emergency contact, who is authorized to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf in case you can’t be reached.
You should also provide them with a credit card or other payment option to cover the costs of any unexpected, emergency procedures.
Again, make sure you write down where you will be traveling to, your travel dates, the names, addresses and phone numbers for hotels you will be staying at and which dates you will be staying at these locations. This is especially important if you will be traveling to multiple cities and/or staying at multiple hotels.
Connect with Pet Sitter on Social Media and Messaging Apps
Make sure you connect with your deaf dog’s pet sitter on social media before you leave! You should also exchange any text or other messaging apps you use, such as WhatsApp, before your leave.
Ask your pet sitter to share frequent updates and photos with you, either on social media or via text or other messaging services.
Contact Your Microchip Company
Before your leave, contact your microchip company and make sure your deaf dog’s profile is up-to-date. Provide them with your pet sitter’s name and contact information as an emergency contact. You can always change this once you return.
Some Final Thoughts
Hiring a pet sitter for any dog can be a stressful process, but hiring a pet sitter for your deaf dog, is even more anxiety-inducing. By taking your time interviewing and hiring the right pet sitter for your defa dog will go a long way to providing you peace fo mind. By providing your pet sitter with everything he or she will need- from feeding instructions to medications to emergency contacts to setting up emergency plans with your veterinarian, you will be able to fully relax and enjoy your time to whatever destination is calling your name!
How do YOU prepare for getaways or vacations when your dog can’t tag along?
Share your tips in a comment below!
You May Also Want to Read: