Going away for the holidays? If your pets have to stay behind, it can be very stressful for them. What you choose to do with your pet can mean the difference in a stressed pet and one who has a wonderful time. Below are some options to consider when your pets can’t travel with you. Before choosing any option, make sure you go there to see it for yourself, check references, search the internet and do research to find out as much as you can. Most places are wonderful however it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Kenneling/Boarding is a great choice for dogs who require supervision, are active and people-oriented, and are easily stressed by their owners’ absence. Kennels and boarding facilities are safe and many offer around-the-clock care, ideal for dogs with medical conditions that require close supervision. Many kennels offer outdoor time, kennel runs or supervised playtime with other dog residents. Though most kennels encourage you to bring your pet’s bed, toys, etc., be sure to inquire how much time your dog will spend out of his enclosure.
Cage-Free Boarding is usually more expensive than kenneling, though dogs get to run around all day long, indoors and outdoors and are not as confined or restricted. They can socialize with other dogs and most large facilities have separate play areas for small dogs and puppies. At night, dogs get a private room with a bed, water bowl and toys–you can provide all of these things for your pet(s) added comfort. If you have more than one pup, they can all stay together.
Pet Sitters will come by your house a certain number of times per day (at least 2) and stay for a minimum of 30 minutes. Pet Sitters will feed, walk, play and do any necessary cleaning. Some offer additional services, such turning on lights, watering flowers, etc. This is a great option if your dogs can be trusted on their own and if they do not get anxious or stressed due to your absence. Some dogs are more comfortable and less stressed when in their home environment; it all depends on your dog’s personality! Keep in mind your pets will be alone 20-23 hours per day; it’s good to have a friend or family member stop by too, if possible.
Overnight Pet Sitters and In-Home Pet Sitters provide additional pup supervision, while helping to alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety. These Sitters can stay in your house overnight or housesit 24/7 for you, living out of your house while you’re away. This is a great option if you still want your pups at home but don’t want them to be alone the majority of the time.
Pet Sitter’s Home Care is a great option if available in your area. Dogs go to the pet sitter’s house for the weekend. This is great for dogs who need a lot of interaction, supervision and care. Dogs benefit from routine and living with a Pet Sitter provides structure they have when you’re around. Although this option can be costly, pets usually enjoy it the most of any option.
We’ve tried each of these options and when we can’t bring our pets, we use our trusted Pet Sitter. She is amazing with our animals and sends us pictures, texts, emails and constant updates on how they are. She even has a blog, Twitter and phone application so you can see what she’s up to during the day. Since Scarlett is very nervous around crowds, cages, etc., we don’t board although that is what we’ve done in the past with other dogs. Our Pet Sitter comes over 2-3 times a day for about an hour per visit and walks, feeds, plays and cleans. Additionally, we try to have friends stop by for a few hours to socialize with them. This option is ideal for us and our pets love it, too! What do you do with your pets when you go away? We’d love to hear your recommendations!