Boarding and Pet Sitting
When you can't take your dog or cat with you
We all love our pets, but that doesn’t mean we can (or should) take them everywhere.
Sometimes we go on vacation or business trips, and hotel and airline restrictions make it hard to travel with a pet. Plus, our pets aren’t always good travelers: they can become sick or anxious, especially in unfamiliar situations. And of course there are family emergencies and illnesses when it might be hard to pay proper attention to your pet.
Sometimes, the best option may be to leave your pet under the care of someone else for a few days or weeks. Here are some things to think about when boarding or kenneling your pet.
Put your pet first
The most important thing to think about is your furry friend’s specific needs. Does your pet like being around other pets? Is your pet lazy or active? Does your dog need a lot of space? Is your cat nervous? How does your pet interact with others? Is your pet on a special diet or have special medical needs? A general rule of thumb is to always make sure that you leave your pet with someone who understands and can take care of your pet’s special needs.
Pet-sitters can be a great option for pets who might be nervous in new places and need a familiar environment. One way to find a pet-sitter is to ask for a recommendation from your veterinarian. Someone who has a good reputation or professional relationship with your vet can provide you with peace of mind in case of a medical emergency. When considering a pet-sitter, it’s important to verify their qualifications. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a great and comprehensive list of qualifications you can use to screen a potential pet-sitter. You should also ask for references – especially from regular clients. As an alternative, there are a few agencies that certify pet-sitters such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International.
It’s also a good idea to give your pets a try-out with potential pet sitters to see how they act together. Finally, you should ask your pet sitter if he or she is able to provide back-up housing in case he or she suddenly can’t care for your pet. Finding a pet-sitter affiliated with a boarding facility or veterinary practice can be helpful.
Boarding: Kennels or Clinics?There