When pet owners travel, we want the very best pet care options for our furry friends. Pets have different needs, especially if they have medical problems or are very young or old. Here are a few of the BEST options for your pet, including pet sitting and pet boarding, for when you are out of your home on an adventure.
Pet Sitting in Your Home
Your pet is most comfortable while in your home. Therefore, most likely the BEST option for your pet, while you travel, is to have someone come to your home to pet sit. That being said, who is the best in-home pet sitter?
While you may have family members or friends who would be willing to stay in your home and take care of your pet, this may not be the best option for your pet. It completely depends on the person sitting and your pet. If you have a child who grew up with your pet and is willing to pet sit in your home, that’s probably the best option for your pet. Your child who already loves your pet will be sure to provide excellent care for your dog or cat. However, a niece living close by who has her own life and doesn’t really know your pet very well may put her needs ahead of your pet’s. That is NOT a good option.
If you don’t have a reliable family member available to pet sit, you might look at a professional pet sitter. Depending on your pet, the sitter may just come to your home several times a day to feed, water, walk your pet, and spend some quality time with it. My dog has a tendency toward being anxious and would likely do better with a pet sitter in the home 24/7. It really depends on your pet and what it requires to feel comfortable. You can ask your veterinarian for reliable pet sitter referrals. Or if you know someone who has used a pet sitter before, be sure to ask how pleased they were with the services.
In-home Pet Boarding
Some pet sitters offer pet boarding in their own homes. If your pet does well outside your home, you might want to consider this option. Your pet will spend your vacation in a home environment, just not your home. The pet sitter will provide the same service to your pet, just in the sitter’s home instead of yours. Your pet will get lots of attention while you’re away and you’ll feel at ease knowing that your cat or dog is well taken care of. Again, you will want to get referrals from people you know or your veterinarian. There are national services such as DogVacay.com that you can check out as well.
Pet Boarding Facility
If your pet is getting older and has some medical type problems, you may feel more comfortable with pet boarding at the veterinarian’s practice. You can be assured that your canine or feline member of the family will receive the excellent care that pet boarding at the vet’s practice will provide. If something comes up that requires a vet’s attention, your pet will already be there. Your vet will contact you and explain the situation so you can choose the best care option for your pet, even though you’re away.
If your pet doesn’t have problems that may require veterinarian intervention, you may choose a pet boarding option at a boarding-only facility. In my very humble opinion, this is the option that is the least conducive to your pet’s well-being. However, that completely depends on the facility itself. There may be a fantastic facility in your area with excellent reviews and this may be the top option for your pet. I do think you should visit the facility with and without your pet and check the reviews of those whose pets have stayed in the boarding facility before you make your final choice. Your veterinarian is also a good source of information.
Pet Boarding with Daycare
When we moved to Colorado several years ago, we did not have a great situation for our miniature poodle who is a rescue dog. Our little rescue poodle has a definite sense of abandonment and is very nervous when he knows we are both leaving. And trust me, HE KNOWS.
We started putting him in a pet daycare first to provide some socialization for him. Our veterinarian did not offer boarding services but referred us to another vet who did have a boarding facility. It was at this facility that we found Rio’s pet daycare options as well. This facility doesn’t call itself a pet spa or resort but it certainly could. It has options for daycare with swimming time and playtime both indoors and outdoors. The suites are large and spacious with plenty of room for pet beds, blankies, and toys. And you can purchase extra special attention time for your pet if need be.
Little Rio has some health issues and is now considered a senior dog. So as he became more familiar with the staff at his daycare facility (who are also in charge of the boarding facility) it became obvious to us that this would be the best situation for Rio when my husband and I travel together.
Rio feels very comfortable there and goes to daycare during the day until he gets tired and then goes into his own suite in the boarding facility. We opt for a camera suite if we can arrange one so we can keep an eye on Rio. His medicine is given to him by qualified pet sitters and if he requires a vet’s attention, he is treated by one of the veterinarians in house. Thank goodness, this has only happened once in the almost four years that he has stayed in this fine facility. But we were so glad that he was with people who also care about him. We pay for special attention time on Sundays when the daycare is closed but he is able to attend daycare all of the other days where he gets LOTS of canine and human attention!
The Wrap Up
One of the most cherished members of your family is your pet. When you’re traveling, you want to provide the best option for your particular pet. Some pets will feel comfortable in a less hands-on situation such as a sitter who comes to your home several times per day. Other pets are nervous types who will require a situation providing more intensive attention such as a sitter who stays in your home day and night. There are also boarding options for pets with no health problems and for those who require special care. It is up to you to find the best option for your pet that makes them feel as comfortable as possible while you are away. Consider the four options here, and pick the best for YOUR precious family member.
To read more travel tips, just click the links here to see some of my most popular posts.
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