Prepare Your Home

checklist, puppy chewing on a rubber bone with paw on key and a small house

Provide Details

Inform your pet or house sitter of anything that may be out of the ordinary (sinks that don’t drain properly, toilet that overflows, etc.). Be sure to inform your sitter of any doors that should not be opened, or areas where your pet is not allowed. Be sure the sitter knows where your thermostat is and how to operate it. Leave thermostats set at a comfortable temperature for your pets while you are away. If anyone will be in your home during your absence, let your sitter know. If your pets are allowed outdoors, ensure that your yard is secure and lock any gates.

Let your pet and/or house sitter know your time and date of departure and return. For long trips, providing a detailed itinerary ensures that you can be reached in an emergency.

Contact Information

Be sure to provide your sitter all of the information on where you can be reached: cell phone, hotel name, hotel location, your room number, or any other information on where you will stay. Include a phone number for a local neighbor, friend, or family member as well. If you rent your home, your sitter should have your landlord’s name as well. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and let him/her know that a pet sitter will be coming visiting while you are away. Provide him/her with a key in case of an emergency, or in the event the sitter cannot make a scheduled visit due to the weather or other reasons.

Security Information

If your home has an alarm system, please be sure to inform your sitter of any codes or timers. For evening visits, having your lights on a timer will help your sitter remain safe and make your pets feel at ease.

Key Storage Lock Boxes

In order to provide our clients and their pets with the most reliable service, Bay Area Pet Pals requires that each client utilize a key storage lock box to hold a minimum of two keys, or two sets of keys, to their residence. Two are necessary in order to ensure that a backup key is always available in case one breaks or becomes lost. The storage box must have a combination code access and we recommend one with at least four digits.

The use of a secure lock box provides you with the peace of mind that your key will always be at your home and secure. Read more here.

Pet Safety

Similar to human kids when their parents are away, cats and dogs may try to test their limits while you are away. Inform your sitter of any limitations to avoid any unwanted behavior, and any methods of training that you use for dealing with any of your pet’s possible behavior problems. Potentially dangerous plants or decorations should be put somewhere that your pets won’t be able to get to them. Keep this in mind especially during the holidays when Christmas trees and other decorations are on display. Some pets get separation anxiety and like to chew things up when owners are away. Ensure that any access to dangerous places such as the pool or garage is blocked to pets. Provide your sitter or dog walker with a list of potential unfriendly dogs or people along the walking route. Make note of how your dog may interact with other dogs and people as well. Advise your pet sitter of any rooms, furniture, or outdoor areas that are off-limits to your pets.