Welcome to this week’s post, where we’ll be discussing pet sitters! Do you actually need one? How do you select a sitter? How do you prepare for a pet sitter? What do they need to do in your absence (1-14+ day absences)? These questions and more discussed in this post.
It seems complicated, but remember this post is written for everybody, and only a few sections will apply to you. However, I do recommend reading this whole post, and doing some research from other sources about travel with hamsters and pet sitters so you can work out the best option for your situation.
I hope this provides some assurance, so you can relax and know your hammy’s alive and well while you’re on vacation or at that conference.
Do You Need A Pet Sitter?
The need for a pet sitter depends on how long you’re going away. Your hamster will be okay for a maximum of three days without care. In preparation for a three day absence do a spot clean, tidy up, and give extra food and water sources.
If you’re going away for over three days, you need a sitter.
Picking a Sitter
When selecting someone to tend your hamster, there are a few options:
- Asking a friend/family member to pet sit
- Hire a professional pet sitter
Expect to be paying the sitter, whether you know them or not.
When picking a pet sitter, a few things must be considered:
- Do you trust the person?
- Are they responsible?
- Do they have a good reputation/references?
- Are they comfortable with your hamster?
- Are they comfortable/capable to do all the required chores?
Remember this person is going to have unlimited access to your home while you’re not there. Choose carefully. Trust your gut feeling.
What Does the Sitter Need To Do?
You want to keep your hamster’s routine as similar as possible while you’re away. You may already have everything planned out for the sitter, but if you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas.
- 1-7 Days Away: Come on days 2, 4, and 6. Feed replace with amount of seed mix on those days, clean/refill water(s), tidy cage, check on hamster (ensure alive and well).
- 1-14 Days Away: Come on days 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14. Feed replace with amount of seed mix on those days, clean/refill water(s), spot clean on days 6 and 12, tidy cage, interact with hamster (leave information on usual playtime routine).
If you’d like, you can copy these sections, edit in an email, and send it to your pet sitter 🙂
In Preparation for Pet Sitter
Before you leave you should take care of everything you can to make everybody’s experience better. Do as much as you can before leaving so the sitter’s job is easier. Your hamster is probably used to your way of doing things, and would prefer you do their care routine. Here are some suggestions before you leave.
- Feed your hamster enough to last until the sitter comes. Don’t overfeed; the food will get stale or your hamster will overeat.
- Clean/refill their water, and add an extra water source.
- Spot clean (get rid of all urine spots).
- Tidy the cage, maybe rearrange it a bit to prevent boredom.
- Add some extra chews and boredom breakers.
- Spend some quality time with your hamster on the last few days before the trip. Whatever qualifies as quality time with your hamster (playpen time, direct interaction, hand feeding, etc…).
- Write down what you’d usually do in the time you’re going to be away. Make sure it’s very detailed, but don’t add extra chores for the sitter. Email the list to the sitter, and print a copy to leave on the cage.
Have the Sitter Over Before You Leave
I recommend inviting the sitter to your house once before you leave so you can meet them, answer any questions, and demonstrate the required chores in question. That way they’ll be prepared and able to
You’re Away 14+ Days
Say you’re going away for over 14 days (two weeks). In this situation you have three options:
- The sitter comes to your house every other day, which can be impractical for the sitter for such a long period of time, but for extra pay they may be willing.
- You don’t have a sitter, but instead bring your hamster with you. Maybe research into travel with hamsters, see if this is an option. Your hamster may not be permitted where you’re going.
- You drop your hamster off at the sitter’s house. Your hamster could have daily care/attention. No travel time for the sitter. Just make sure the sitter’s home is safe before agreeing to this option.
Please research further into these topics before continuing with any of these options. When talking about the well-being of an animal, all options must be taken into serious consideration.
- Select a sitter who is comfortable with your hamster and their care routine. Pay them, whether you know them or not.
- Research into the topic of hamster travel and pet sitters from several sources, and work out the best option for your hamster and your situation.
- Do as much of the ‘hard work’ before leaving. Your sitter is taking care of your hamster, not owning it.
- Never (ever ever ever) abandon your hamster to a sitter!!
If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!