Pet Sittings

Every pet is important to his/her owner. When you agree to care for a pet you are assuming responsibility for that pet in its owners' absence. The following tips will help you fulfill that responsibility by knowing what information you need to have before the owner leaves town and what to do in an emergency.

1. Understand the importance of the pet to the owner and the responsibility one assumes in agreeing to care for a pet in its owner’s absence.

2. Spend time with the pet before owner leaves.

3. Information to get from owners in writing before they leave:

4. Specific instructions regarding feeding and medications.

  • Amount of food
  • Time of day
  • Where is the water dish kept?

5. Are there any medications? If so:

  • Where are they kept?
  • When are they given?
  • How are they given? In food? By hand?

b. Does the pet have any idiosyncrasies? Afraid of thunder, fireworks, strangers, etc.

c. What is the phone number of their veterinarian? A local contact if the owners can't be reached?

d. Itinerary of owners with contact phone numbers if possible.

e. Date owners expect to return home. Always check and make sure they are back home before you stop feeding the pets.

f. Does the pet (especially cats!) have a favorite hiding place? Where does the pet sleep?

4. Request that owners put on a regular collar with ID tags while the dog is in your custody.

a. Write down the King County License number and the Rabies tag number and vet clinic where shot was given

b. NEVER leave a dog alone with a choke collar on.

5. Ask owners to put all hazardous materials away before leaving.

6. Things NOT to do!

a. Don't bring friends or your own pet with you when you go to feed the pets.

b. Don't give the pet any treats unless specifically approved by owner.

c. Don't shampoo pet (cats can be killed by dog shampoo)

d. Don't attempt to treat any unexpected illness. Take to Vet.

e. Don't remove pet from the premises unless pre-approved by owner in writing.

7. If the pet disappears, don't assume it will return in a day or so. If picked up by Animal Control, it may be euthanized. Do the following quickly:

a. Call Vashon Island Pet Protectors: 389-1085

b. Call King County Animal Control: 296-PETS

c. Call the Beachcomber: 463-9195

d. Call each Vet Clinic: Fair Isle Animal Clinic: 463-3607 and Vashon Veterinary Clinic: 463-3668

EducationElaine Summers