Dallas’ Park Cities Pet Sitter Provides Pet Owners a Checklist of How to Ensure Their Pets Receive the Best Care While Their Owners Travel for the Holidays

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Planning in advance helps pet owners and their pet sitters during the busiest time of year for pet care.

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"It's important to stop for a moment, and go through the checklist of things that your pet and pet sitter will need while you are away." Joette White, President of PCPSI

The week of Thanksgiving signals the start of the busiest time of year for pet sitting companies all over the country; a busy season that usually lasts through the first week of January. During this 7-week period, many pet sitting companies double the amount of visits that they do compared to other times of year. Ensuring a smooth holiday for pet sitters, pet owners, and pets alike starts with ensuring each pet sitter has all of the information they need from pet owners to provide the best pet care possible during this busy season.

Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. has been in the pet sitting business for over 20 years, and thus has experienced many voluminous holidays throughout their company’s history. This experience has led them to create a holiday checklist that they like to reinforce with their clients and their pet sitters before the busy holidays begin, to minimize any surprises or stressors during this time. Park Cities Pet Sitter President, Joette White, feels these reminders are critical to keeping clients happy because she knows they are likely busy with a lot of holiday details, and they may forget to do a few of the necessities to help ensure their pets and homes are well cared for while they are away. “Everyone gets caught up in the packing, shopping, hustle, and bustle of the holidays,” said Ms. White. “But it’s important to stop for a moment, preferably a day or two before you leave town, and go through the checklist of things that your pet and pet sitter will need while you are away. Doing so will make everyone involved happier, and less stressed during this busy time.”

The following are some of the points that Park Cities Pet Sitter emphasizes to ensure everyone’s pets receive the best care possible during the holidays:

1.    Make sure there is plenty of food, medication (if applicable), and litter for your pets. Assume that your travel plans might change due to factors beyond your control (like bad weather), so leaving extra pet food, medication, and litter for your pet sitter will save your pet sitter from having to make a special shopping trip.

2.    Put food, medication, litter, collars, harnesses, and leashes in an easy-to-find location for your pet sitter. If you already have a primary location for all of your pet goodies that your pet sitter knows, then great! But if you have moved the regular location for these items, or do not keep them in any one particular spot, please make sure all of these items are in an extremely easy location to find so that your sitter doesn’t have to spend a lot of time looking for these items when they arrive at your home.

3.    If you have an alarm in your home, activate it when you leave, and make sure your pet sitter knows how to arm/disarm it. Potential thieves know the holidays are a good time to find empty homes, so take any precautions you can to make sure your home is not targeted.

4.    Double check all doors and windows in your home prior to leaving town to ensure they are closed and locked properly. Not only will this deter potential thieves, but it will prevent potential house damage from rain or snow getting inside your home inadvertently.

5.    Make sure all keys have been tested prior to giving them to your pet sitter. Key copying unfortunately is not an exact science, and this could mean that a copied key might not work in the door it is intended to open. Finding a locksmith over the holidays will be difficult and expensive, so testing keys prior to giving them to your pet sitter is essential.

6.    Make sure all contact telephone numbers your pet sitter has are up-to-date, and include a land line telephone number for where you will be staying while out of town. Holiday plans often include ski resorts and out-of-the-country destinations where cellular phones don’t work well, or where owners don’t have cellular coverage. Even places you travel that have good cellular coverage can be problematic if your phone battery dies at an inopportune time, or you forget to pack your cell phone charger in your suitcase. This is why having a backup land line telephone number to reach you in an emergency is so important.

7.    Keep old towels readily available for your pet sitter. Because Thanksgiving and Christmas fall during the winter season, many areas of the country experience rain and snow during the holidays, which often means wet and muddy paws. Keeping old towels readily available will allow your pet sitter to wipe off paws before coming inside, and allow you to come home to a clean house.

8.    Alert the pet sitting company main office as soon as you are aware of potential schedule changes. It is not unusual for a holiday trip to be extended or shortened. As soon as you are aware of any schedule changes, call your pet sitting company to let them know. Your pet sitter will appreciate the advanced notice, and can rearrange their schedule if necessary to accommodate your changes.

Following this checklist prior to leaving on an out-of-town holiday trip should eliminate the most commonly “forgotten” items by busy pet owners. Pet sitters everywhere will be grateful for the attention paid to these important details, and pet owners will be more likely to have a stress-free holiday knowing that their pets and homes are being well cared for in their absence.

Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. has served the Dallas area 7 days a week, 365 days a year since 1992. Pet sitting, daily dog walks, pet taxis, overnight sitting, pet supply shopping, litter box cleaning and dog training are all part of the services PCPSI offers. Park Cities Pet Sitter is bonded and insured, and all sitters are employees--not independent contractors. A manager is on-call 24 hours a day.

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