Special needs pet? How to prepare your petsitter

20 Dec, 2022

Special needs pet? How to prepare your petsitter

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As a petowner with a special needs pet you will need to prepare your sitter before you leave for your holidays. In this article we offer you some top tips on how to get both your petsitter, home and pet ready for this time.

Preparing your sitter for your special needs pet

special needs pet
Some pets need particular care because of their health or disabilities

One of pet owners’ biggest challenges is being away from home without their pets. Even though some could take their special needs pets with them when traveling, it is not always possible. They are forced to leave their animals under someone else’s care. So they have to start looking for the ideal petsitter.

Top tip

When this happens, some choose to hire a professional pet sitter others find a pet lover who acts as a free sitter. Either way this is a person who can make sure that the animals get the best care possible and stick to their routine. Fortunately, most sitters are able to take care of pets and make them stress-free.

However, this is a little bit difficult for pet owners with handicapped animals, especially dog owners. If you are adopting a rescue dog be sure you understand the physical disabilities in dogs you are considering adopting.  You should also consider that your petsitter you find understands how to take care for your special needs pet and their conditions.

What does a special needs pet mean?

A special needs pet is any pet that needs a extra care and attention in one way or another. Here are a few examples of conditions that could put an animal in the special needs pet category:

  • Food allergies (often remedied by easy and relatively inexpensive dietary modifications)
  • Diabetes
  • Hearing impaired (communicate by hand signals & you will be able to sing horribly in the shower)
  • Vision impairment
  • A physical disability (perhaps requiring a set of “wheels”)
  • Victims of animal abuse
  • A senior pet who needs a loving peaceful home to spend their last days
  • Behavioral issues that need rehabilitation
  • Neurological issues like cerrabellar hypoplasia, epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy
  • Chronic or terminal illness

Special needs pets are the most difficult for shelters and rescues to adopt out simply because many people fear the unknown or look upon animals with disabilities as “broken”. But they are not, and they deserve love, care, companionship and an enriching life just like any other pet.

Here is how to prepare your sitter to for this type of care:

Tell them everything about your animal

One of the most important things when preparing your pet sitter for your special needs pet is telling them everything about the pet. This should include things such as the pet’s characteristics and unique routines.

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You should also tell them about the daily routine of the special needs pet, what they eat, when and how they eat, what they like playing with, and the people the pet interacts with, among others.

Every single detail is essential in helping the pet sitter provide the best care for your pet with special needs.

Inform them about your pet’s medication and condition

Many pets are put on medication throughout their lives. Before leaving or even engaging a pet sitter, ensure that you have all the medication that your pet needs. Do not leave the responsibility of getting medication with your pet sitter.

If, for instance, you need CBD oil for dogs, you can shop at Honest Paws in advance. After that, make sure that the sitter knows how and when to administer the medication. This is important in ensuring that your pet gets good care.

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In addition, your sitter takes care of many pets. It might be difficult for them to remember your pet’s conditions or medication. You should, therefore, write everything down including medication, treatment, and conditions, for them before you leave.

Emergency and important contact details

You also need to provide your sitter with bus, metro, and driving directions to emergency stations and local vets. They should also get important emergency contact details, including addresses and phone numbers.

Great pet sitters do not waste time trying to reach you in case something happens. They get any help that they need immediately. In addition to emergency details, they should also be able to call you anytime something happens.

Top tip

What if they cannot reach you? Well, provide them with a secondary contact number or person that they can reach anytime the need arises. If you will be staying in a hotel, you can provide them with the hotel’s phone number.

Prepare your home

You are getting a sitter to take care of your special needs pet /s. This means that they will not be coming to take care of your home. You should, therefore, prepare your home and make it safe and clean.

All safety hazards should be taken care of before you leave. Things like dangerous chemicals such as insect killers, weed, rat poison, and cleaning products, among others, should be kept well.

Top tip

You should also ensure that all gates are secured and fence holes repaired. You need your sitter to have enough time for your poorly anim without having to worry about other issues in your home.

special needs pet
Old pets can become special needs with particular food and pet care requirements increasing in specificity

Access to supplies for special needs pets

As discussed above, you should make sure that you have everything that your pet needs before leaving. Apart from the medication, you also need to get all the required supplies. Your sitter needs to find everything that your animal needs without any problems. Things like cleaning and grooming supplies, your pet’s ID tags, harnesses and leashes, toys, and food, among others should be easily accessible.

Top tip

You should also ensure that the sitter has enough money to buy anything that might not be available.

To make things easier for the petsitter, record a video with instructions and send it to them. You can also write down instructions related particularly to the care of your special needs pet and hang them somewhere in your house, making sure to hand you sitter a copy on arrival.

Handicapped and special needs pet s will need particular care. Since you cannot always travel with them when going somewhere, you should ensure that your sitter is prepared to provide your animal with the best care possible.



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