At The Pet Parlor, we know that introducing your pet to a new pet sitter can cause stress for you and your pet.  This is especially true if you have a nervous dog or shy cat.  Helping pets and their owners feel comfortable during this time is so important to us that we’ve decided to write a blog about it.  With the right approach, introducing your pet to a new sitter can go very smoothly. Here are some of our top tips for an easy introduction:

If your cat does not want to come out and say “hi”, don’t force it.

Keep Your Introductions Between Your Pet and The Pet Sitter Short

The first meeting between your pet and the sitter should be kept quick if possible. This gives them a chance to greet one another without overdoing it. Comfort levels will rise as the pet sitter spends more time with your pet. The Pet Parlor does a “get acquainted” meeting prior to your visits that lasts anywhere from 20-45 minutes.  Most of that meeting is spent between you and the sitter going over the specific details of care.  There is some interaction with the pets, but not enough to overwhelm them.  If your cat hides during the introduction, do NOT go grab him from his hiding spot to introduce him to his new sitter.  Respect their space and let them come out at their own leisure.

Have the Pet Sitter Give Treats and Praise During introductions

Have the sitter give your pet their favorite treats and praise when they’re calm. Positive reinforcement is key to building trust and good associations. Have the sitter ignore your pet if they act anxious so as not to reward nervous behavior.  Here is a good read with some more meeting tips.

Stay Calm Yourself

If you seem anxious about leaving, your pet will pick up on that energy. Project confidence that this is a fun new person who will take good care of them while you’re away. Once your pet knows YOU are comfortable, they will become more comfortable.

Provide Information to the Sitter in Advance

Give the pet sitting company details about your pet’s routine, likes/dislikes, and any special care notes ahead of time. This helps the sitter hit the ground running and feel prepared.

Don’t Rush the Process

Resist the urge to immediately leave your pet for a long period with the new sitter. Patience and gradual exposure are best.  If it’s possible, schedule a one-visit trial before your longer trip to help your pet feel more comfortable when you need to be gone for a longer period.

With preparation and the right approach, you can help make introductions between your pet and new sitter low-stress for all. Feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit!