As we go in to the vacation months we may start to plan a 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 and cats and birds, they are family members and to some of us the only ones we have for companionship. Some of us are lucky and able to take our angels with us, 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/she is at home with somebody it knows it is OK
If you don't have a friend who can do that, turn to a trusted pet sitter who is willing to live at your house for the time you are gone. The charge would be around $75 -$100 per day. Talk to your veterinarian about recommendations.
The second choice is a pet sitter willing to take your pet into his/her house. You should inspect the house to make sure there will not be too many pets around, and the house needs to be clean. This should cost about $35 -$45 a day.
A good pet sitter will ask for proof of vaccination and medical history. If you decide to go with a pet sitter make sure to provide your pet with its own food, a favorite toy and a T-Shirt that you were wearing for at least 24 hours so it has your scent on it.
If you cannot find either of these services, the next best bet would be a dog or cat daycare facility. Within the last couple of years quite a few have opened in our area.
This will be fun for your pet because most will have plenty of space for your pet to play and interact with others. The same rules apply: A good place will ask for medical records and a behavior evaluation.
Prices range anywhere from $25-$50 a day depending on size and special packages you can book, such as pool time, a trip to the beach, grooming etc.
Last but not least there is the possibility to have your pet boarded at your veterinarian or local boarding facility. It is not the happiest choice simply because of limited space, and your pet will most likely spend a lot of time in a crate. However, your pet will have lots of supervision and proper care at the doctor's office. I always found it helpful to ask one of the caretakers to take my dog out two more times than the normal routine and a $50 bill would take care of that. The price range for boarding will be $20-$35 a day. Depending on size or special needs, it could be a little more.
As its owner, help your pet out by being confident about your choice and don't tell your pet how sorry you feel about leaving him or her behind. Our pets are very sensitive to our feelings, so if you don't feel good about your choice they will pick up on that and become insecure for no reason. Also, it is a good idea to bring your pet to the sitter a day before you leave so the pet does not get stressed seeing you pack and so on. Please be assured all 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 e-mail me. I will give you free information on places in your area.
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.