Find out the pet’s normal schedule and routine from the owner. Follow it as closely as possible. Pets are creatures of habit and their routine will comfort them while owner is away.
Find out about pet’s normal eating habits- do they scarf their food or do they graze on it all day? This will be important for you to know if the pet is stressed while their owner is gone. Not eating is a common symptom of separation anxiety in pets and needs to be monitored closely and taken to the vets when necessary.
Find out if the pet’s favorite spots in the house- cats might hide under the bed or in a closet while owner is away, dog might lay on a couch or bed that is forbidden when owners are home.
Make sure the owner leaves you phone numbers where they can be reached, an itinerary of their travel plans, and pet’s veterinarian number. Ask for written instructions for pets feeding and medication instructions so you have a reference sheet. Take notes as the pet owner explains their pets’ daily routines.
Remember even though the pets are in their own home, they will still be stressed to some degree while their owner is away. Use common sense when it comes to caring for the pets and don’t expect them to behave for you the same way they do for their owner.
Find out the owner’s weekly schedule- do they work from home or do they go to the office 5 days a week? A pet that is used to a person in the home all the time is going to be a lot more stressed, staying in the house alone.
Know if the pets have had pet sitters in the past or if this is the first time. A pet that’s never been left before is more likely to stressed than a pet that is left on a regular basis.
Find out expectations from owner as to communications. Some clients will want a call or text every day from the pet sitter, while others only expect a call if there is an emergency.