As we come into the holiday months, we often start to plan a little getaway. Everything is arranged and we are very excited, except for one big problem: What to do with the pet?
Today's pets are not just dogs, cats and birds. They are family members and to some of us, the only ones we have for companionship.
Some are lucky and able to take their little angels with them, but others have to find the perfect solution. Here are some helpful tips on pet sitting and boarding.
The most desirable solution is to leave the pet at home with a trusted friend. Your pet will miss you, but if he or she is at home with somebody they know, it is OK.
If you don't have a friend who can do that, you can turn to a trusted pet sitter who is willing to live at your house for the time you are away. The charge may be between $75 and$100 a day. Talk to your veterinarian about recommendations.
A second choice might be a pet sitter willing to take your pet to his or her house. Inspect the house to make sure there will not be too many pets around and, of course, see if the house is clean.
A good pet sitter will ask for proof of vaccination and a medical history on your pet. This should cost between $35 and$45 per day. If you do this, make sure you provide your pet with its own food, favorite toy and a T-shirt you have worn for at least 24 hours so it has your scent.
If you cannot find either one of these services, your next best bet would be a dog or cat daycare facility. Within the last couple of years, we have quite a few opened in our area.
This will be fun for your pet because most will have plenty of space to play and interact with other pets. A good place will ask for medical records and a little behavior evaluation.
Price range anywhere from $25 to$50 a day, depending on size and special packages such as pool time, trips to the beach, grooming, etc.
Last, there is the possibility to board at your veterinarian or local boarding facility. It is not the happiest choice because of limited space. The pet will likely spend a lot of time in a crate. However, be assured your pet will have lots of supervision and proper care at the doctor's office.
I found it very helpful to ask one of the caretakers to take my dog out two more times than the normal routine ( $50 will take care of that). The price will be $20 to$35 per day or more, depending on size or special needs.
You can help your pet by being confident about your choice of pet sitting Don't tell your pet how sorry you feel about leaving him or her behind. Our pets are very sensitive to our feelings. If you don't feel good about your choice, they will pick up on that and get insecure for no reason.
It is a good idea to take your pet to the sitter a day before you leave, so the pet does not get stressed by seeing you pack and prepare. Please be assured pet professionals will give your pet the best possible treatment while they are in their care. After all, most of us started this because we love pets just like you.
If you need any help finding the right place please feel free to e-mail me and I will give you free information on places in your area.
Have a great holiday.
Birgit Edler is the owner of Canine College in Juno Beach, which offers grooming, training and day care services for dogs and cats. Call (561) 626-0552 or e-mail Caninecollegefl@yahoo.com.