Bad Weather for Pet Sitters

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Pets in snow Pet sitters have to travel in all weather conditions.  They share the same creed as the US Postal Service – “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever” And, when bad weather strikes, pet sitters don’t have the option of staying at home and watching the rain—or snow—or sleet—or hail. They’re expected to be out on their rounds seeing to their assignments, no matter what the weather.

Stormy weather results in difficult driving conditions. The challenges of seeing and being seen put extra pressure on the driver, and the unusual environment stresses the complex mechanisms of the vehicle. And the challenge of professional pet sitters to safely complete their scheduled assignments can add to that pressure.

Pet owners in bad weather please try to make it as easy as possible for your pet sitters. If you have a person in your home that is physically able but normally unwilling to let your dog out or feed your pets , and you hired a pet sitter to come in. Please save your pet sitter a unnecessary dangerous trip on the road and ask that person to do you a favor in this circumstance and take care of your pets for you. There are pets we have to get to that don’t have anybody home, need food & water replenished. In bad weather they have to be our first priority! Any trips that aren’t necessary to make in severe weather conditions are appreciated by your pet sitter and could save us HOURS on the road!

Pet owners LOVE updates from the pet sitter to hear their fur babies are okay. Pet owners please be patient with your pet sitters when there is bad weather! The roads could be dangerous, and slow moving. For pet sitter that do not have 4 wheel drive vehicles driveways, side roads, and even the main roads can be very difficult to get through. Your pet sitter is getting to your pets just as soon as they possibly can. But in bad weather nobody is going anywhere very quickly! Try not to pester you pet sitter when you know there is bad weather. By calling or texting them you could be distracting them while they are on the road driving and cause them to get into an accident. Your distressed phone call or text worrying about the dog going out or the cat getting it medication only adds to your pet sitters stress. If you pet has an accident waiting for your pet sitter – they will clean it up when they arrive.

Prepare for your pet sitters arrival should there be bad weather.   Many home owners don’t think of this because they pull up to the house, click the garage door opener, pull into the nice dry safe garage, and the close the door & go into the house. The exterior perimeter of your home is your responsibility.  If your pet sitter, mail carrier or anybody else on your property slips, falls & injures themselves you are liable!

If you are away during the winter and are relying on a pet sitter, you can make things safer for them, ensuring your pet can get their care.

  • Have someone “pre-hired” to shovel in case it snows. Have them shovel your driveway with a path to the road as well as the sidewalk in front of the house, and a path to the door.  Don’t leave it up to your pet sitter to shovel your house out.
  • Leave pet safe salt containers for the people shoveling your walk and driveways (with directions to only use that type of salt) – and leave an extra container or two inside in case the pet sitter needs to add additional salt to ice or snow.
  • Always have the numbers to your power company and/or heating company displayed for the sitter to call if there is an outage.
  • If there is a power outage, or no heat at your home, make sure you have arrangements with your pet sitter so that they can take the dog, cat or bird home with them to board in case of a no heat emergency.
  • Extra leashes, collars, dog or cat carrier is great to have available in case the sitter does have to take the pet with them.
  • Have the number to the nearest 24-hour vet emergency hospital displayed as well.
  • Keep a shovel handy for your sitter to maintain the paths.
  • If you have a regularly scheduled dog walker and you are staying home from work – remember to call them to cancel.
  • Make sure you have enough pet food, litter, pet medication and bottled water in case you’re stuck and can’t get back on your schedule day due to weather.

dog in blizzard
Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers truly work through rain, and snow, day and night. Planning ahead during the winter  & for bad weather situations will make the care of your pet a little easier for your sitter to stay safe while caring for your pet.  The tips above will make a big difference in the life of your pet and pet sitter during bad weather.

About the Author: Shannon's Pet-Sitting