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Judy Koutsky @JudyK79

Pet Sitter Checklist: 5 Things You Can Delegate

Here are things you may not have considered asking your pet sitter to do.

A pet sitter checklist can include the standards: walking your pet, feeding him and playing with him, cleaning up after him and of course, giving him a lot of love. But often, pet sitters are willing to take on a few extra chores, which allows you the opportunity to get a few things off your to-do list.

Talk to your sitter about the type of duties she'd be willing to take on and you'd be surprised at just how much more your sitter can do for you -- besides taking care of your four-legged friend, of course. The key is having an open and honest talk with your sitter about what she is -- and isn't -- interesting in doing.
 

For example, see if your pet sitter is able to help you with these common chores:
 

  1. House Sit
    If you're going away for a vacation or long weekend, who better than your pet sitter to watch the house while you're gone? She can bring in the newspaper and mail when she takes your pup on a walk. If it's cold out, she can shovel the drive, and indoors, she can water the plants. Just having someone home, to turn on the lights, run the water, and make sure everything is okay in the house, is a huge peace of mind for you while you're away.
     
  2. Clean the Litter Box and Pet Areas
    In the same way that child care providers take care of not only the kids, but things related to the kids -- for example, doing the laundry, making beds or picking up toys -- your pet sitter checklist can include things directly related to your pet. That could include things like cleaning the litter box, washing the food and water bowls, brushing the pets, making sure all the animal toys are clean and checking food supply (to make sure you don't run low).
     
  3. Make Playdates
    Playdates aren't just for kids. If your dog enjoys the company of another dog, your pet sitter can schedule time at the park for an activity with all your canine's friends. Your pooch doesn't have to be lonely just because you're on vacation or at work.


     
  4. Teach Your Pet Tricks
    Not only is it valuable to keep your pet mentally alert by teaching him tricks, but you can also have your pet sitter work with the kids in the house to allow them to share in this experience. That way, the pet sitter is involved with both the kids and pets, which can free up some of your time.
     
  5. Feed the Fish
    Your pet sitter should be able to take care of little things around the house -- like feeding the fish or light dusting. Some pet sitters want the extra money, so they'll gladly take on additional responsibilities. Talk to your sitter and see what she's most comfortable with.
     
  6. Taking in the Mail
    It's never a good idea to let your mail pile up. Overstuffed mailboxes are a sure sign to burglars that no one is home. If you don't want to put an official hold on your mail, but you don't want your mailbox to overflow, ask your sitter to collect the mail and leave it in a neat stack inside your home -- away from the elements and prying eyes.
     

Looking for a new pet sitter? Check out 10 Things to Look for in a Pet Sitter for tips. Have you asked your pet sitter to take on additional duties in your home? What were some of your recent requests and how did your pet sitter react? Let us know below!
 

Judy Koutsky is the former editorial director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication, and was also executive editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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