pet owners at some point will have to be separated from there pet. The
decision then becomes who should care for your pet while you’re gone. Pet
sitters can be a quality solution. This allows your pet to stay at home
in a familiar setting while keeping the same schedule. A good pet sitter
will play with you pet, give them attention and exercise, as well a food
and water. Some pet sitters may stay at your home while others stop in
daily to care for your pet.
Another option is boarding your pet at a kennel. A good kennel will also
give your pet attention and exercise along with food and water. Some high-end
kennels will even provide grooming and spa treatments. In either case researching
whom you are leaving your pet with is important. In both cases references
are a must. With a kennel, call the better business bureau to see if any
complaints were lodged against the kennel you are researching. Schedule
an appointment to look around the kennel. If they don’t allow visits, don’t
bother using them. Make sure the kennel is safe and clean. A large number
of complaints about kennels stem from either poor sanitary conditions that
result in the spread of either illness or parasites, or poor care. A quality
kennel will be cleaned daily and have a professional and courteous staff.
A kennel should give your pet a good safe place to sleep as well as an
exercise area. Good ventilation is also essential. Determine if the kennel
is equipped to handle any medical care or special diet your pet might have.
If you are boarding a cat that is skittish, or afraid of dogs look into
a ‘cats only’ kennel. Cats don’t need as much room as dogs, but should
be kept in a secure area usually separate from the dogs.
With pet sitters, you want someone you can trust in your home and who will
provide quality care. Often times a vet can suggest a good pet sitter.
There are also pet sitter associations that can recommend sitters. Have
a potential sitter meet your pet prior your leaving. This will let you
know if your pet will like him, and if they will interact well. If you
do choose a sitter it is also recommend that you have a back up such as
a neighbor who can feed your pet just in case something happens.
With either choice it is important you provide detailed information about
your pet. Contacts, including your vet’s number, and where you can be reached
are essential. Most quality kennels will require proof that your pets have
been vaccinated, and may require that they are on flea and tick medication.
Detail your pet’s schedule, when they eat and exercise. Describe any special
requirements they might have whether it is a special diet or medicines
that they take. Note any behavior issues they might have such as, ‘overly
excited by other animals’, or ‘jumps on people’. Plan in advance; kennels
and sitters have busy seasons and may be booked up if you don’t call early
enough. You and your pet will be happier knowing they are receiving quality
care while you are gone.