We often get calls asking what people need to do to prepare for a pet sitter. The Pet Sitter Meet and Greet Checklist is a great time to ensure your pets will get along just fine without you while you’re away.

While our sitters are quite prepared when they come out, to meet you and your pet, we also love helping pet parents prepare. Whether you use us or someone else. these tips can help you get off to a great start!

If this is your first time meeting a pet sitter, you’ve probably exchanged emails, maybe even had a phone call or two. Now it’s time for the crucial next step: the meet and greet. This in-person introduction allows both you and the pet sitter to assess compatibility and ensure a smooth, stress-free experience for everyone involved, especially your pets.

But before the big day arrives, some preparation on your end (and believe me, we also have a long list of preparation tips for our sitters) can go a long way in making the meet and greet a success.

Here’s a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare your home, pet, and yourself for a productive and positive first encounter with your pet sitter. You can also download your free Pet Sitter Meet and Greet Checklist here!

Preparing Your Home

We never expect a perfectly organized home but a little organization can go a long way.  This helps ensure the sitter knows your routine, which makes it much easier to never miss a step.

  • Notify Family and Friends: Notify your family or neighbors that we will be at your home. This helps ensure your home and your pet’s security.
  • Notify Veterinarians: You should also notify your veterinarian that a pet sitter will be caring for your pet and leave a signed authorization to extend medical care during your absence if it becomes necessary.
  • Organize Pet Supplies: Having everything readily available saves time and avoids scrambling during the visit. Locate and organize all pet essentials like:
    • food
    • bowls
    • leashes
    • collars
    • medications
    • favorite treats, chews and toys
    • waste disposal bags
  • Create a “Pet Sitter Station”: Designate a specific area with clear instructions and important information for the sitter. This could include a labeled binder (or even a short form) with details like:
    • Security information for home
    • Recent photos of your pets (especially if you have multiple animals, particularly cats who are prone to hiding)
    • Your pet’s daily routine
    • Medications (these should be clearly marked and secured).
    • Feeding schedules
    • Walking instructions and favorite places to walk
    • Veterinarian and emergency contact information
    • Be sure to tell us about any unusual habits your pet has (e.g. destructive behavior when left alone, change in bowel or eating habits, hiding places, etc.)
  • Keep Leashes Handy: Ensure all leashes, collars, harnesses, and any walking equipment are readily available and in good condition.
  • Set Thermostat: Make sure your thermostat is adjusted for your pet’s comfort while you’re away. In Arizona, many people want to save money on air conditioning by setting the thermostat high in summer. But, we ask that you don’t vary more than 2-3 degrees from the normal setting for your pets safety.
  • Secure the Space: Walk through your home and address any potential hazards. Put away valuables or anything you don’t want the sitter to access. If there are areas you don’t want the sitter to enter, like a specific room, make sure those are clearly marked.
  • Check Fencing: Make sure your fences are secured and that dog or cat doors are locked. Learn more about the dangers of dog doors in Arizona.

Preparing Your Pet

  • Brush Up on Basic Training: Briefly go over basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” or “down” with your pet. Even if they’re not perfectly obedient, a refresher can help the sitter establish a connection and build trust.
  • Introduce New Toys: Consider having a few new toys on hand for the meet and greet. This can help keep your pet stimulated and engaged during the sitter’s visit.
  • Feeding Time: Schedule the meet and greet around your pet’s regular feeding time if possible. This allows the sitter to observe your feeding routine and practice handling food and bowls. This is especially important if you more than one pet.
  • Bathroom Break: Take your pet for a good walk or potty break before the sitter arrives. A relaxed bladder can help avoid accidents during the initial meeting.

Preparing Yourself and Your Sitter

  • Gather Information: Make a list of any questions you have for the pet sitter. This could include their experience with specific pet breeds, their approach to handling behavioral issues, or their comfort level with administering medications. Our sitters are all well-versed in the proper care of pets.
  • Review Pet Records: Have your pet’s vaccination records, medical history, and any current medications readily available to share with the sitter.
  • Discuss Expectations: Talk openly about your expectations for the pet sitting service. Be clear about your pet’s routine, walking needs, playtime preferences, and any special instructions.

While you’re meeting your sitter, we ask that you…

  • Be Present: While the meet and greet allows the sitter to interact with your pet, it’s important for you to be present as well. This allows you to observe their interactions and ask any questions that may arise.
  • Observe Body Language: Pay attention to how your pet reacts to the sitter. Are they relaxed and curious, or anxious and withdrawn? Trust your gut instinct when it comes to your pet’s comfort level. Our sitters are the best in the business, but like people, some animals may not take to someone. We are happy to talk about a new sitter for you if your pets prefer someone different.
  • Take Notes: After the meet and greet, jot down your thoughts and impressions of the sitter. This helps with clear decision-making when choosing the right person for your pet.

By following this checklist and taking the time to prepare, you can ensure your pet sitter meet and greet is a positive and productive experience for everyone involved.

Remember, a successful meet and greet lays the foundation for a trusting and reliable pet care relationship. This gives you peace of mind to enjoy your vacation or business trip and ensures your pets receive the love and attention they deserve!