It’s vacation season!

Does your pet sitter have what they need in an emergency?

If you’re hitting the road and leaving your pet with a sitter, make sure they have written permission from you to take your pet to a veterinarian and authorize care while you’re away.  When pet sitters are unsure about their role and their authority, delays can impact a pet’s health and well-being.

Here are some considerations to help you plan for emergencies that happen when you’re away:

  • Make sure your pet is microchipped. It’s also a good idea to have a collar and tag on your pet, in case they get scared in a new environment and run away.
  • Provide your pet sitter with complete contact information.
  • Provide secondary contact information, in the event you are not easily reachable.
  • Leave your sitter with instructions for where to take your pet in the event of an emergency (daytime and after hours veterinarians).
  • Compile a list of all health issues and medications and give it to your pet sitter.
  • Consider allowing your sitter to act as your agent; if not, appoint a family member to be your agent.
  • Leave written instructions authorizing your pet sitter to approve medical care up to a specific amount without your consent, and attach your credit card information. Here is a good example of a form that you can adapt to your needs or print out and give to pet sitters or boarding facilities. The form was developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Taking these steps will give you peace of mind, and they will help ensure your pet sitter can navigate any circumstance.