At some point, you may be required to leave the joy of your life with a dog sitter. You try to get referrals and read reviews, but how can you be sure this stranger will love and care for your dog the way you do? Eventually, you have to take the leap. But have you ever returned home from a trip and wondered if your dog sitter really did all that you paid him for? There is a lot of trust in hiring someone to care for your fur baby. Here are five signs that your dog sitter may not be doing their job correctly.
#1 – Personality Change
You come home to your normally friendly and social dog that is now showing great distress, is hiding and/or withdrawing. Note: If this is the first time you have ever left your dog, this could be signs of separation anxiety, not proof your dog sitter did something wrong. If you have left your dog before, with no problems, then it may be the sitter; if not, talk to a vet or professional dog trainer about the possibility of separation anxiety.
#2 – Left Outside
If your dog only utilizes your backyard for supervised visits, but you come home to large holes from digging or destroyed plants, your dog may have been left outside most of the time. Again, this is based on past history of that not happening. A dog can dig a hole in a few minutes and it’s not necessarily from being left outside all day. However, you know your dog and if you are concerned, asked your sitter questions and your neighbors.
#3 – Left Inside
Conversely, if you have a house-trained dog that always goes outside and you come home to soil marks on the floor, either cleaned or undetected by the dog sitter, she may have left your dog inside all day and never took him outside. Again, you have to base this on your dog and past experience and ask questions.
#4 – Unused Food or Medications
Food portions or medications that have not been dispensed properly and/or there is more remaining than should be. This can be tricky. Your dog may not have wanted to eat while you were away, for example. Or, just because the food it all gone, doesn’t mean your dog got it – she could have fed it to her own dog, or just thrown it out. Use your own good judgment and ask questions.
#5 – No Communication
Your pdog sitter should give you updates on your dog while you are gone and a final update on your return. If you have had limited to no communication with the dog sitter while you’re away and/or no final update, there may be a reason for that. Obviously, this depends on whether you were somewhere were you couldn’t get updates (For example you may not be reachable on a cruise or hiking in the mountains). The bottom line is your dog sitter should have stuck to whatever agreement you made before leaving. If she didn’t, she didn’t do her job properly.
Do What’s Best for You and Your Pup
When in doubt, trust your instincts. We love our little babies and want what’s best for them. Make sure you always check reviews. Get referrals. A little extra effort up front can give you confidence that whoever is spending time with your pups loves them as much as you do. And isn’t that what we all want?