Have you ever planned an exciting trip to get away from it all only to be faced with the dilemma of what do I do with the Dog/Cat? The difficulty of leaving your pets behind during a family vacation or weekend getaway is one of the number one reasons people decide not to travel. The pet parent guilt of leaving your fur baby behind can be tough to overcome. Knowing your pet care options before going away will help you to make the right choice for you and your pet(s). Choosing the right pet care option is the key to peace of mind while on vacation!
Before you start the search for pet care there are a few questions you want to answer for yourself and your pet.
- Where will my pet be most comfortable?
- How much care does my pet need daily? (consider feedings, medications, puppy needs, etc.)
- Does my dog/cat get along with strangers (human and animal)?
- What is my budget for pet care?
- What will give me the most peace of mind while I am away?
PET CARE OPTIONS
Professional Pet Sitting
Hiring a professional pet sitter is an excellent way to maintain peace of mind for both you and your pet during your time away. Pet sitting is the most customizable option for your pet! Does your pet feel most comfortable at home? This option allows your pet to remain in their familiar surroundings 24/7 while you are away enjoying yourself. A pet sitter is also a great choice for keeping your pets’ schedule as normal as possible for them. From feeding times to walks/let outs you can customize a timely schedule with the pet sitter and their visits each day. A pet sitter generally holds several pet safety certifications (particularly true of established pet care businesses), adding to your peace of mind. They will keep you up to date with personalized notes or text messages and of course provide lots of love for your fur babies while you are away. Pet sitting can double as a “home watch”. Many pet sitters will bring in your mail and newspapers and even water your plants, making your home appear “lived in” during your time away. BONUS!
Boarding your pet in a pet sitters’ home is a wonderful option if you are not comfortable with letting someone new into your home or if you pet is protective of the home, i.e. does not allow strangers into the home. This can also be a less expensive option compared to hiring a pet sitter to come to your home multiple times a day. In-home boarding keeps your pet under the watchful care of an experienced pet sitter around the clock. In many cases, your pet will be socialized with other pets in a monitored and safe environment. In-home boarding also means your pet is never left alone overnight. When looking to book in-home boarding be sure to ask how much time the pet sitter generally spends away from the home or how much time they anticipate your pet will be crated or left alone in the home. Answers will vary depending on the pet sitter so to make the best choice for your pet it is a good idea to ask.
A standard option for around-the-clock pet care is a boarding facility. If you prefer to board your pet at a facility make sure it is reputable: read reviews, and ask your fellow pet parents for recommendations. Confirm that the facility holds the required boarding certifications, i.e. PCSA certified. Be sure to ask about the qualifications of the care-takers as well as detailed information on the daily schedule for pets under their care. It is important to note that boarding facilities often do not have staff on location after a certain time of day. Refer to the questions you answered above to determine if a boarding facility is a good fit for your pet. Find qualified boarding facilities at the International Boarding & Pet Services Association
Does your best friend LOVE playing with your cat, or maybe your neighbor has a teen dying to walk your dog? Consider asking them to pop over for feedings and playtime/walks. Having an established relationship with the person coming into your home can be comforting for both you and your pet. This is a great option if your pet has difficulty with new people or if you need someone to pop over on short notice. If they have pets themselves offer to return the favor next time they plan a trip. An important thing to remember when using a friend or neighbor is that life happens and there is always the possibility that something “comes up” last minute making them unavailable. Be sure to have a backup plan just in case.
Take them with you
What greater peace of mind than to have your fur baby right alongside you while you are away? If your pet is comfortable in new places, enjoys car rides (for road trip travels), or offers comfort to you as a pet owner they could be an excellent travel companion. There are many pet friendly travel options out there. From Airbnbs to restaurants and shopping, pets are becoming widely accepted in both public and private places across the country and the world. If your pet has a hard time being away from you or with new people, bringing them along will be your best option. Searching sites such as bringfido.com will give you detailed information on recreation, businesses, lodging and more that welcome our furry friends! Even if your pet does well boarding or with visits by a pet sitter/neighbor you may want to consider researching your destination for pet friendly options. After all, what is a family vacay without the family pet? Download our Free Guide to Traveling with Pets for all you need to know when you travel with your pets.
From hiring a pet sitter to in-home or traditional boarding to traveling with your pet, you have many options for pet care when you vacation. You know your pet best – think about which option will be the best fit for them and for you and go with that! Whichever form of pet care you choose, always do your due diligence. This means reading reviews, researching the business/person/facility, checking their history of pet care and certifications. It is your right and responsibility as a pet owner to gather as much information as you can before you trust someone with your precious fur baby.
Want to give traveling with your pet a try? Download our free Guide to Traveling with Pets for all the tips and tricks of traveling with your furry family members.
Just Around the Corner offers Daily Dog Walking and Cat Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!