Leaving Your Separation Anxiety Dog with a Pet Sitter: Essential Questions to Ask
As a pet parent to a dog with separation anxiety, finding a suitable pet sitter can be a challenging task. You need to ensure that the person you entrust with your pet’s care is capable of handling the unique challenges that a dog with separation anxiety might present. Here are some crucial questions to ask a potential pet sitter to ensure they’re a good fit.
1. Do You Have Experience with Dogs with Separation Anxiety?
Experience is paramount when it comes to caring for a dog with separation anxiety. Ask the pet sitter if they’ve cared for dogs with separation anxiety before and how they managed the situation. This will give you insight into their understanding of the condition and their ability to handle it. It’s especially critical that the pet sitter understands about your dog’s threshold and that your dog isn’t left for longer than he can handle while in the pet sitter’s care.
2. Will You Be Watching the Dog at Your Home or Mine?
The location where the pet sitter will be watching your dog is another important factor to consider. Some dogs with separation anxiety may feel more comfortable in their own home, while others might adjust better to a new environment. Discuss this with the pet sitter to determine the best option for your dog.
3. What is Your Approach to Handling Anxiety in Dogs?
Every pet sitter may have a different approach to managing anxiety in dogs. Some might use distraction techniques, while others might use calming aids or specific training methods. Understanding their approach can help you determine if it aligns with your dog’s needs and your own methods of managing your dog’s anxiety.
4. How Would You Handle an Anxiety-Induced Incident?
Despite the best efforts, dogs with separation anxiety might still exhibit anxious behaviors, like destructive chewing or excessive barking. Your dog may also have an anxiety related accident in the home. Ask the pet sitter how they would handle such incidents. Their response can give you a sense of their problem-solving skills and patience.
5. How Do You Handle Emergencies?
Ask the pet sitter about their emergency protocols. How would they handle a medical emergency? What if your dog escapes? What about if your dog has an anxiety related injury? Knowing that the pet sitter has a plan in place can give you peace of mind.
6. Are You Trained in Pet First Aid?
In the event of an anxiety-induced incident leading to an injury, it’s important that the pet sitter knows how to respond. A pet sitter trained in pet first aid can provide immediate care and potentially prevent a minor injury from becoming a major one.
7. Can You Provide References?
References from previous clients, especially those with dogs with separation anxiety, can provide valuable insight into the pet sitter’s capabilities. Don’t hesitate to ask for references and take the time to contact them.
Always exercise caution when finding a pet sitter on an app, as the qualifications and experience of sitters can vary widely. Caring for a dog, especially one with separation anxiety, is not the same as ordering a pizza for delivery on an app. A lot of pet sitters on apps are pet sitting as a side job for some extra cash. They likely don’t have the same level of dog related experience as a professional pet sitter would have.
Remember, the goal is to find a pet sitter who can provide a safe, calm, and caring environment for your separation anxiety dog. By asking these questions, you can ensure that you’re leaving your beloved pet in capable hands.
While it might take some time and effort to find the right pet sitter for your dog with separation anxiety, the peace of mind knowing your dog is in good hands is worth it. Always prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety, and don’t hesitate to ask potential pet sitters as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decision.