How to Introduce Your Dog to a Pet Sitter | PetFirst
How to Introduce Your Dog to a Pet Sitter
Pet Care & Health

How to Introduce Your Dog to a Pet Sitter

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

Are you looking for a pet sitter for your dog or cat? The need for a pet sitter can arise for many reasons: conflicts with work, while you are away on vacation, or if you simply have long periods of time when your pets are at home alone while you are unavailable. 

No matter the reason for hiring a pet sitter or dog walker, you need to introduce your pet to the sitter in a way that cements a great relationship with that person from the get-go.

The first week of March is Professional Pet Sitters week and we wanted to offer tips for pet parents to make pet sitting visits enjoyable for your dog (and the sitter!). Keep reading as we discuss how to best introduce your pup to their potential pet sitter.  

Step One: Plan Meetings

Plan several meetings between your dog and the pet sitter before you turn over the key to the house to the sitter.

You need to be there to moderate those first few meetings. If your dog sees you are relaxed in the presence of the pet sitter, he will pick up on your body language and will be more welcoming to the sitter. A professional pet sitter would require pre-sitting meetings between you and your dog before he or she would become your sitter.

Step Two: Communicate 

Share “insider” information with the pet sitter about your dog. If she prefers to walk in one area of the yard instead of another, let the sitter know that. If your dog receives a treat at a specific time of the day make sure the sitter knows. Explain some of your dog’s unique body language and cues to the sitter. Perhaps your dog doesn’t bark to go outside, but instead sits and stares at you. If the sitter doesn’t know what your furry friend expects, your dog may not know how to act and could even have an accident in the house.

The more information you supply the pet sitter, the better the relationship will be – believe me, sitters are accustomed to receiving pages-long lists of instructions about the pets they will be with! If you have unique words or hand signals for commands such as: sit, stay, lay, heel or more, let the sitter know.

Step Three: Take The Introduction Slowly 

Give the pet sitter one of your dog’s favorite treats to feed him when she comes to the house. Let your dog approach the pet sitter on his terms – don’t force interaction. A professional pet sitter will also let you know how to make the introduction go smoothly.

You may want to ask the pet sitter to leave something with his or her scent at your house so your dog gets accustomed to the scent (a bandana, t-shirt, etc.)

Before you leave town and leave your dog with the sitter, make certain the pet sitter comes to your home while you are still in the area to walk or spend time with your dog. You don’t want to be hundreds of miles away only to find out that your dog is being protective of the home and won’t let the pet sitter in!

Step Four: Provide Important Contact Information 

It is important that you let your pet sitter know who your family veterinarian is. Contact your veterinarian and let him or her know your dog will be left with a pet sitter and if there are any emergencies, this person can act on your behalf in case you can’t be reached.

Leave your sitter all emergency contact information, your veterinarian’s phone number, and any additional information that your sitter or vet may need while you are away. The more prepared your pet sitter is for caring for your dog the more peace of mind you will have when you entrust your beloved dog to a pet sitter.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.  

Robbi Hess is a full-time pet blogger and multi-published author. She shares her life with a diva Poodle, a goofy Goldendoodle, two Devon Rex, a senior ginger kitty and three reptiles!

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