How to Prepare Your Pets for a Staycation

For many pet owners, the holiday season means it’s time to get ready for a busy travel season.

Whether you’re jet setting somewhere warm or are going to enjoy a white Christmas, now’s the time to prepare your pets for a “staycation” while you’re away for the holidays.

If you haven’t yet, get your services scheduled with your pet sitter now. Holidays are a hectic time for pet sitters, and you don’t want to have to scramble to find someone new because your sitter is already booked up. Once you’ve got your pet sitting services lined up, then you can start preparing your pets, and your home, for the sitter.

Stock Up on Pet Food

Depending on how long you’ll be gone, you’ll want to make sure to stock up on your pet’s favorite food and treats. If you cook homemade meals for your pets, you may want to have plenty of non-perishable food on hand if you’ll be gone for a week or more. And if your pets enjoy a dehydrated food diet, having extra on hand will keep bellies full and tails wagging.

Don’t Forget the Cat Litter

For a cat, running out of kitty litter is like running out of toilet paper for us humans—not good. Have an extra bag on hand so your cats don’t run out. You can also help your sitter by providing plenty of plastic bags, a garbage can, a litter scooper, a broom, and other cleaning supplies. Your cats, and your sitter, will thank you.

Make Medication Time Easy

If you have a pet who needs prescription medication while you’re away, have plenty of it on hand. Let your veterinarian know you’ll be out of town, and if necessary they’ll refill the prescription so you have it at home in case the sitter needs more. This is especially important if your pet is on insulin or similar medications.

Make sure you talk with your sitter and leave detailed instructions on what your pet needs and when, as well as your veterinarian’s phone number, just in case.

Get Your House in Order

Will your sitter be a staying at your house while you’re gone? If so, treat them as you would any house guest. Something as simple as having a flashlight handy in case the lights go out can make a big difference. Nobody likes to be in the dark!

If you typically have a fridge full of food, now’s the time to eat up those leftovers and make some room for your guest’s groceries. Cooking utensils, pots and pans, and other everyday items should be easy to find. Remember: you want your pet sitter to make themselves at home. The more comfortable they are, the more time and attention they’ll give your pets.

Preparing your pets for their staycation doesn’t take as much time as planning and packing for your vacation. But ensuring your pets—and their sitter—have everything they need to be comfortable while you’re gone will help make their spirits bright this holiday season.

Meet the Author: Patty DiMaggio

Patty DiMaggio is a freelance copywriter specializing in social media, website, and email content for pet companies who want to generate more revenue from their marketing efforts. Patty also works as a pet sitter for Play Time Pet Care in Mesa, AZ where she lives with her two long-haired dachshunds, Daisy and Belle. When not writing for clients Patty enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and traveling to new places in Arizona and around the U.S.

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