#1 Does your pet have access to the outside?
Some dogs have a doggie door and can go outside to go potty as needed. In an instance like this, they may only need one visit per day. This depends, of course, on how often they are usually fed.
If a dog does not have access to the outdoors, the minimum number of visits they should have each day is two. Two visits per day allow the dog to get a bathroom break approximately every 10 to 12 hours.
For many dogs, that is enough. For other dogs, though, three visits per day may be a better fit. In this way, the dog can go out for a nice walk in the morning, in the middle of the day, and again before bedtime.
#2 How many times per day do you feed your pet?
Does your pet eat once per day, twice per day, three times per day? Alternatively, does your pet have a self-feeder? Some pet parents even have feeders on timers. The number of times your pet eats per day can help to determine how many visits to schedule each day.
#3 How old is your pet?
Taking your pet’s age into consideration is of particular importance in the case of dogs who do not have free access to the outside. If your dog is older, he may have difficulty holding it if he only gets two visits per day. He may, instead, need three or even four visits in a day.
The same goes for a puppy. The number of visits the puppy will need each day depends on how long he can hold it without having any accidents. A good rule of thumb is: a puppy can hold it for 1 hour per month of age. This peans a 2 month old puppy can last for 2 hours, 3 month old puppy for 3 hours, etc. We need to set up visits based on the age of your puppy and how long she can go without outside trips. In addition, some breeds tire faster than others, which will change how much exercise your puppy needs.
#4 Is your pet crated?
A crated dog that only gets two visits per day will be spending approximately 23 hours of his time in a crate. For that reason, at Home on the Range Pet Sitting LLC, we suggest a minimum requirement of three visits per day for dogs crated while the owners are not home.
Some people crate their dogs only overnight and, in those cases, two visits per day may work quite well for them.
#5 Is your pet on medication?
If your pet is taking medication, you will need to consider how often the medication needs to be administered. If it is once per day and you have a cat, then one visit per day will suffice. However, if you have that same cat but he gets medication twice per day, you will need two visits per day to ensure proper administration of the medicine.
#6 How social is your pet?
Some cats prefer to stay as far away from people as possible. Others love to follow someone around and rub against their legs, purring away. For the friendlier cats, scheduling two visits per day may be a good idea. As an alternative, scheduling longer visits (such as 40-45 minutes) once per day may help fulfill their need for company. On the other hand, the cats who prefer to stay away from people will be perfectly happy with one visit per day.
With dogs, it is important to consider if they have separation anxiety. If they do, it is best to have a minimum of three to four visits per day or even to consider doing overnights, so that have someone spending the night with them while their owner is gone.