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Vet Matthew Bayliss: Tips on Preparing for the pet house sitter

Pet house sitter preparations

Vet Matthew Bayliss offers his expert advice on how best to prepare your pets and home for the pet house sitter who will be resident and caring for your fur family in their own home when you are away.

Your pets are creatures of habit

Dogs and cats are definitely creatures of habit – this becomes most evident at my dogs’ tea time (7pm) every single night – if not a little before that…at about half six Bracken, the eldest, sits in front of me, puts her paw on my lap and barks until her evening meal is delivered, evidently by magic, from the depths of the pantry.

Dogs and cats prefer home environments – a pet house sitter is preferred

Obviously, a kennelled environment serves its purpose by providing a secure location to house your pet when you’re away on holiday; however, being as dogs and cats prefer their home environment, there is another option; a pet house-sitter. This also brings the added comfort of knowing that a trusted individual is looking after your property as well as your pets.

Bracken the dog


Barkley the dog


Max the dog


Preparing your pets for the pet house sitter

For the initial period, before you go away it may be worth getting to know (if you don’t already!) your house-sitter. This doesn’t apply just to you, but to your pets too – especially if they have anxiety around strangers.

Aside from the initial meet-up, it may be worth going on a couple of walks with the pet house sitter, making sure your dog can handle them, and vice-versa!

dogs in the garden

All three playing in the garden.

The pet house sitter settles three dogs at home in front of the fire

Preparing your home for the pet house sitter

In your home itself, prior to and during the vacation, it is advisable to use products such as Adaptil and Feliway, both of which contain anti-anxiety pheromones for dogs and cats respectively, and are available as plug-ins, sprays, and collars for dogs. In addition to this, it may be necessary to use other anti-anxiety products, such as Kalm-Aid, Zylkene, or Skullcap & Valerian tablets; talk to your vet about these and other products they recommend.

And finally, always make sure your pet house sitter is insured, and has the number of your veterinary surgeon to hand in case of any health problems or emergencies that may arise while you are away from home.

TO REGISTER to be a pet house sitter on HouseSitMatch FOLLOW THIS LINK

Matthew Bayliss BVSc MRCVS
Pets: Lola, Barkley & Max (dogs), Bramble (cat), Socks (bunny)
Hobbies: Playing guitar, cooking, walking the dogs
Interesting Fact: I delivered Barkley in a Caesarean operation, June 2011
Pet lover and Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Matthew Bayliss BVSc MRCVS Clinic Director of White Cross Vets in Wolstanton, UK.


  1. Hi,

    You mention in this post that pet house sitters should be insured. What insurance should they have? I have never heard this before. Can you tell me more about why they need insurance? I am very interested in learning more about this before I start housesitting.


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