How to Write Great Dog Sitting Instructions

"Dog Sitting Instructions," By Chloe Bennet   

Last Updated 05-31-2023

Nobody likes to leave their dog behind, but you can’t always take them with you on vacations. It’s reassuring to know your dog is being left in the care of a sitter who knows what they’re doing. 

But even an experienced sitter needs some good pet sitting instructions. A good, thorough set of instructions can make your absence much less stressful and disruptive for your dog. 

Two girls are going over a list of dog sitting instructions.Dog Sitting Instructions

Give the sitter all the contact info they need. Introduce them to your dog’s personality, schedule, and bad habits. Make them aware of any health problems or medications they’ll be responsible for. 

Show them around and let them know where all the important items are found, as well as where the dog can, and cannot, go. The better your instructions, the better equipped the sitter will be for the job, and the happier your dog will be.    

Write Down Dog Sitting Instructions

The best way to make sure your dog is looked after well is by providing some well written dog sitting instructions. Go over them with the sitter before you leave, in case they have any questions. Make a copy or two and leave them somewhere accessible and where your sitter will not be able to forget about them. 

Help Your Writing Skills

Don’t sweat it if you’re writing skills are stellar, there is plenty of online help available., UKWritings,, and Academized can all help you improve your writing skills.

When you’re ready to proofread your instructions, check out and for help. 

Exchange Contact Info as Part of Your Dog Sitting Instructions

Provide your sitter with your contact information in case they need to get in touch with you. This isn’t just for emergencies but will also be useful if they have a question after you’ve left. 

Give them your cell phone number, email, and the name of the place where you’ll be staying. You can also give them the contact information for one of your friends or neighbours who have a spare key, in case the sitter gets locked out. 

Give them your vet’s information as well. It’s also not a bad idea to speak with your vet before you go on vacation. “Let your vet know who will be looking after your dog, what they are authorized to do, and how medical expenses will be handled. 

Does your vet have your credit card info on file? Have you spoken with your sitter about how they will be reimbursed if they need to pay for vet bills?” recommends Kathleen Downs, writer at Assignment and

Vital Dog Sitting Instructions

Feeding Instructions

Write some clear instructions for how and when to feed your dog. What kind of food does she get, how much, and how often? Let the sitter know at what times your dog is expecting to get their food. If you have more than one dog and they have different diets, make sure the sitter knows that. 

Does your dog get fed treats? How often? It’s also wise to stock up on dog food before you leave, so the sitter doesn’t have to make a run to the pet store and bill you. Don’t forget to explain your dog’s water drinking habits. If your dog moves between the house and the backyard, instruct your sitter to keep fresh water in both spots. 

Exercise Routine

Being without their owner can be a stressful experience for a dog, but maintaining their usual schedule helps. Your sitter needs to know how often your dog gets walked and for how long. 

Can they take your pet to an off-leash dog park? Do you want your sitter to play with the dog using a certain toy they’re used to?

You’ll also want to discuss a grooming schedule with your sitter. When your dog is all tuckered out at the end of the day, where do they sleep? When do they usually lay down for the night with the lights out? 

After their last potty break of the day, do they come sleep in your room, on the couch, or get crated? Make sure the sitter knows, because it would be a shame for your dog to sleep in an unfamiliar spot because the sitter didn’t know they were allowed to sleep on the couch, for example.

Current Health Conditions Should be Part of Your Dog Sitting Instructions

“One of the most important things you need to discuss with the sitter are any health conditions or medications your pet takes. This is one thing you will really want to write down some clear instructions for,” suggests Eric Price, writer at BoomEssays and EssayRoo

Be sure you have enough medication to last the duration of your trip or make arrangements for them to get them from your vet. Write directions on how to properly administer the medication, along with a schedule.

Giving meds to a dog can be tricky and stressful for someone unfamiliar with the experience. If you have a special trick for this task, make sure to tell your sitter. Both they and your dog will be happy that you did.  

Other Important Items to Include in Your Dog Sitting Instructions

Map out where important items such as leashes, food, medicine, bowls, treats, carriers, and waste bags are. You can write their locations down with your instructions, but it’s also a good idea to give your sitter a quick tour of where they are all found before you go. 

You don’t want to be receiving unnecessary phone calls from the sitter because they can’t find your dog’s medication. It’s also not a bad idea to show your sitter where the power box is in case they need to flip a breaker or replace a fuse. 

Add Your Dos and Don'ts to Your Dog Sitting Instructions

The last thing you need is your dog building up some bad habits while you’re away on vacation. Unless your sitter has been around you and your dog a lot, they probably don’t know your rules. Make sure your sitter knows what your dog isn’t supposed to do. 

Do they go in their crate when no one is looking after them or can they roam the house? This one is huge and could be a big headache for you and the sitter if not communicated.

Is the dog allowed on the furniture or into certain rooms of the house? These kinds of things are a habit for an owner, but your sitter won’t know. You can also inform your sitter about what kinds of behaviors are unacceptable, so your dog doesn’t regress into a bad habit. 

Remember to Add Your Dog's Quirks and Traits to your Dog Sitting Instructions

Every pet has a different personality and some weird quirks. Knowing these kinds of things will make your sitter’s job easier. Does your dog like to get into the garbage or drink out of the toilet bow

Your sitter can keep the bathroom door closed and make sure your dog doesn’t get the opportunity to rummage around where he shouldn’t.

Maybe your dog is friendly with people but doesn’t get along well with other dogs. This kind of information can be useful when the sitter takes your dog out for a stroll.

You’ve probably become used to the little measures you’ve taken to work with your dog’s personality quirks. Think back to some situations in the past and how you adjusted to help jog your memory.  

Dog Sitting Instructions Checklist

Write down the time and date of both your departure and arrival for your sitter. Even better, provide them with an itinerary of your trip, where you’ll be and when along with contact info for those places. 

Do they have the security code to get into your house? Will they be responsible for taking out your garbage and recycling bins? Be sure to leave them a collection schedule then.

Make their life a bit easier and let know them to know where you like to buy pet food, in case they need to make a run. If there are aggressive dogs or unfriendly people along their walking route or around your neighbourhood, give your sitter a heads up. 

The sitter can try to avoid a particular street or house and lessen the chance of a conflict. Even simple things like how to adjust the thermostat can be very helpful and appreciated by a sitter.

If you have other people coming to the house, such as a maid or a gardener, let the sitter know. Having a stranger arrive unexpectedly can be quite stressful for your sitter.

Write down a list of foods that are toxic to dogs and post it on your fridge or someplace easy to see.  

Pet Sitters Instructions Graphic to PinPet Sitters Instruction Checklist


The absence of your furry companion can be a cause of tension for both of you. However, the worry can be alleviated if the pet sitter is familiar with your pooch and has clear instructions.

Inform the sitter of your pup's characteristics, preferences, and regular meal and exercise times. Make sure to give them an overview of any eccentricities your pooch has and make sure to point out where the essential items, like food, are kept.

Inform the sitter of all the restrictions you have for your dog, such as what not to do or where not to go. Here are some pointers to remember when writing out instructions for dog sitting.

Author Bio (Dog Sitting Instructions)

Chloe Bennet is a health blogger at Religious studies help Australia and Best dissertation writing services UK websites. She writes about travelling, education and pets. Also, Chloe teaches academic writing at Best Essay Services.

You might like these

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

Does This Article Deserve Your Thumbs Up?

We always appreciate your support and encouragement.  Your thumbs up means so much to us.  Please like this article.

If you find this page or any page on Small Dog Place Helpful, or useful in anyway, I'd love it if you would click the small heart found on the bottom right of each page.

You can also share or bookmark this page -- just click on the:

10 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Dog Breed

Free Monthly Newsletter

Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter and get our Free Gift to You.

my  E-book, The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Dog (and how to avoid them)