Tips to keep Your Pet Safe while You’re Away – Pet Sitter Care
When you’re a pet parent you know all too well that when planning your holiday you also need to make arrangements for your pets to be taken care of while you’re away.
Most of you will probably book your pets into a boarding facility however some of you will make other arrangements such as having them stay with friends or family or hire a pet sitter.
While their food, water and exercise and social needs are taken care of – have you made arrangements for any Veterinary Care they might need while you’re away?
Boarding Kennels have firm polices around providing veterinary care should your pet need it. Their check in documents will require you to leave your contact details so they can get in touch if needed.
They will also have some arrangements in place that authorise them to have your pet seen by a vet if he or she becomes ill during that time.
Pet Sitter Care
If you choose to employ a private pet sitter that comes to your house or have your pet board with them – it’s up to you to make those firm veterinary care arrangements with them.
Because if something happens to your pet while you are away they need to know exactly what to do.
- Which vet to take your pet to
- How the vet can get in touch with you to discuss your pet’s condition and gain consent for treatment
- How any fees incurred for their treatment will be paid.
- Who is responsible for any aftercare if needed?
With end of year holidays coming up we know for a fact that there will be many pets being looked after by private pet sitters which may be family or friends and most people will have put no such arrangements in place.
Tips for making Veterinary Care arrangements for when You are on Holidays
1: Make sure your pet is Microchipped and your registered details are up to date
If your pet accidentally escapes from your sitter’s care and ends up at a pound or vet clinic then these people will need to be able to contact you. Just as important is checking that your contact details with the Animal Database Register are still correct. Have you changed address or phone contact numbers since you registered your pet?
There is no point in having your pet microchipped if YOUR registered contact details are wrong!
2: Provide clear instructions to your pet Sitter about what to do if your pet becomes sick or is injured
Create a written plan for your pet Sitter or carer. This should contain all the following information:
- Your Pet’s Microchip number
- Contact details of your pet’s vet where your pet’s records are kept. Also their opening hours.
- Instructions for care if something happens outside of your vets opening hours.
- How to contact you while you are away. Give as many options as possible that include both phone as well as alternatives should phone contact not be possible. This could be via Facebook – Messenger – Email or any other Social Media or internet contact app. Email contact alone is not recommended unless you check your emails several times a day. In urgent situations your vet or carer may need to contact you urgently for a immediate response.
- Treatment Authorisation. Who can authorise treatment. Only you? Your carer? If so what decisions can they make on your behalf? What can they or your vet do if they can’t get in touch with you? You need to make this VERY clear AND it must be in writing! Your vet will not proceed with any treatments without clear and documented consent from you. Or they will be forced into making decisions that you may not be happy with. But that – is up to you.
- Payment arrangements. How will any veterinary fees be paid while you are away? Do you have an account with your vet? If so – what is the limit and payment terms? Have you left your carer with access to funds if needed? Do you have a separate credit card for your pet’s expenses that is specifically for situations like these?
- Plan B. What if something happens in the carer’s life and they can’t take care of your pet for a while? Can they reach you and what should they do if that happens?
3: Notify Your Vet of your Arrangements
Once you have created your Sitters Care Document – make sure you email a copy to your vet – several days before you leave. Let them know the period you’ll be away and any further instructions you want to give. This will give your vet enough time to ask for further information if needed before you leave. Also make sure you have clear contact – consent & payment arrangements in place with your vet.
While we all hope that nothing will happen to your pet while you’re away – we know that it can. Sadly most people who have left their pets in private carer’s hands have no veterinary care arrangements in place.
This causes enormous stress on the carers and vets alike who are powerless to make any decisions. So – for your peace of mind – make sure your pet sitter and vet know what to do.