Pet Care: Checklist for Ferret Sitters

When you leave your ferrets in the care of a pet sitter, it can be unnerving. With a bit of preparation you can make your time away smooth and comfortable for everyone. Responsible pet care includes a clear and precise ferret sitter reference guide so you, the pet sitter and the ferrets are at ease.

The basics

Write down the specific days and times you are traveling. Include flight numbers if applicable.

Give your pet sitter the security code to your home, so she can enter and exit without stirring up trouble.

Have these telephone numbers legibly printed on a single piece of paper: 
-Your contact number 
-A contact number for 2 locals (friends or relatives) to call in the case of an emergency 
-Your veterinarian's phone number and address 
-The closest after-hours emergency animal hospital phone number and address

Written descriptions

If you have multiple ferrets, the pet sitter may not be able to identify which is which. This is especially important if one of your ferrets requires specific medication. A written description will make it easy for the pet sitter to distinguish between your ferrets.

In your written description, include: 
-Each ferret's name, gender and age 
-Physical descriptions including color, identifying markings, length of hair, etc 
-Personality traits 
-Likes and dislikes

An individual photograph of each ferret (with their name attached) will further assist the pet sitter in identifying each ferret.

Schedule of events

Ferrets can be sensitive so it's helpful to keep them on their routine when you are away. Leave written instructions on feeding and recreation times, details on how to clean up after the ferrets, a list of dos and don'ts, notes on supervising safe playtime and an overview of whatever else you do with your per ferrets on a daily basis.

Food, water and toys

Leave specific brand names and flavors of the foods and treats your ferrets can have written down. Same goes for toys. This is important if you didn't have time to buy supplies before you left or in the event that your trip is unexpectedly extended.

Medical history

Leave details describing the medical condition of each of your ferrets. Include a list of current medications with instructions on how to administer each. Write down any allergies or conditions your ferrets may have and typical signs of illness or injury.

Ensure all of your ferrets' medications are legibly labeled. Note if any of your ferrets' medication requires refrigeration.

Emergency plan

Nobody likes to think of this when they are leaving their pets in the care of another, but it's important. Decide what can be spent on emergency care without your consent and communicate that to the pet sitter. Discuss emergency care with your local contacts as well. If your pet sitter cannot reach you in the case of an emergency, there should be someone you trust that she can talk to.

Consider giving either your pet sitter or your local emergency contact person the power of attorney over your pet's care in your absence.

Your wishes for your ferrets' care should be as specific as possible to prevent emergency pet care from being hindered by indecision.

Now, have a safe and pleasant trip. Your ferrets will be well cared for during your travels.

Sources: 
LowCountry Paws 
Ferrets For Dummies, 2nd Edition

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