The other day I was driving my daughter and her friends around town and I overheard one of her friends say to the other "remind me to let my neighbor's dogs out tomorrow, don't let me forget".
Yikes! Okay it's not the worst thing in the world, but as a pet parent and owner of a dog walking and pet sitting business I couldn't help but cringe a little. Of course I have been running my business since 2000, I have systems and procedures in place so we NEVER "forget" to let a dog out and kids are well, kids.
I understand not everyone is able or willing to pay for pet sitting and rely on family and friends to care for their pets while they are away and I am sure that the majority of the time the pet is well cared for or at least gets the basic needs met (potty breaks and fed).
If you rely on friends and family to help you out here are some tips on how to make sure your pet is getting the attention he or she deserves.
1. Before you leave go over the specifics of what you want them to do while you are away, if you are paying them it is fair to have expectations.
2. If you are worried at all they may forget or be late to a visit send them a friendly reminder or a thank you in advance for looking after your pet each morning.
3. Ask them to text you a picture of your dog on a walk or playing in the backyard and a short message letting you know how the visit went.
4. If you have cameras in your home it is okay to check in on them around their expected time of arrival.
5. If you feel like they are constantly late or forgot to go over, it is 100% okay to call them out on it. Remember your pets are totally dependent on people to care for them and they deserve the best while you are away.