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  • Linda

Last Minute Christmas Tips for Pet Sitters

Little things mean a lot during these busy times.

Whether you are going to be actively pet sitting between Christmas and New Years Day or taking time off this year, I've got some tips for you.

If you WILL be pet sitting through the Christmas / New Year week these are my tips:

1. Take some time to firm up your pet sitting schedule so everything is in place. Confirm trip dates with clients.

2. Remind clients to secure their Christmas trees so pets left home alone won't ruin or topple them. Best if trees are not put up at all, or taken down before the trip if clients will be gone for an entire week. If just a night or two, make sure to water a real tree and keep lights off and unplugged.

3. On your first pet visit of the holiday, do a walkthrough of the clients' homes to make sure there are no unsafe things for pets lying around: things such as poinsettias or other poisonous holiday plants, holiday sweets to upset tummies if eaten, ribbons, trash bins full of dangerous things to eat and chew, and small items that pets can chew and choke on like other Christmas decorations, and that wires and chords to other holiday lights are off or very safe if clients want them on timers.

4. Make sure to schedule some breaks for yourself especially if your schedule is super hectic.

5. Bring yourself some water and coffee/tea for your pet runs to keep in your car so you stay hydrated and alert.

6. If possible, try and schedule a break big enough so you can be with your own friends and family at some point on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day if that is what you want to do.

7. Keep your cell phone with you and on while at your personal holiday festivities. Set the alarm to remind yourself when you need to leave to go do your next pet visit so you don't lose track of time.

8. Keep extra mittens and socks in your car in case you get yourself wet while dog walking in snow and/or rainy weather.

9. If you've prepared little gifts for the pets you will be seeing and will be playing Santa Paws, load up your car the night before, and put them in order so distribution will go well on Christmas morning.

10. Be extra vigilant to text/e-mail your clients if they have asked you to do so. When partaking in our own festivities it is easy to accidentally forget to communicate, so make that a "top of your list" note.

11. If you are a Christian, make sure you schedule yourself "free" so you can go to Christmas services/Mass. Because as a Christian, we know that God comes first.

If you will NOT pet sitting through the Christmas/New Year week these are my tips:

1. If you haven't yet done so, send out Christmas cards to your clients with a cheery message. Include a pet-related poem or prayer in the card. Or photo of their pet(s).

2. Sleep in. Chances are you are up early for pet sitting on a daily basis so getting to sleep in on Christmas morning, or that entire week, will be a real treat for yourself.

3. No doubt, your phone will still be ringing with clients calling to schedule pet sitting for after New Year's so either make sure to tell your clients before that week if you will be totally unavailable or set an automated voice mail or e-mail/text response letting people know you are "out of the office" until a certain date. At your prerogative, leave a voice mail saying that you will be returning phone calls between (as an example) 2 - 4 pm daily, or leave a message whether or not you will be available for emergencies.

4. Spend quality time with your own pets, your friends, your family during the week - or take yourself on a little vacation and totally break away.

5. Surely, you'll be off but won't be celebrating every minute between Christmas and New Year so maybe you want to take some leisurely time to organize your car supplies, tidy up your office or files, plan your next newsletter or blog entry, or updates you want to make to your website. You might want to brainstorm resolutions for the coming year for your personal as well as your pet sitting life.

Whatever you do this holiday season - be well, have fun, relax, and be grateful for the blessings you have in your life!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers,



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