While you would love nothing more than to welcome your furry friend along when you travel, this is not always a viable option. When you cannot take your pet with you, there are several options to consider when deciding how your pet will be cared for in your absence.
Doggie Day Care
Many pets prefer to stay at home in their familiar surroundings, but some dogs that suffer from separation anxiety cannot even stay home alone for the duration of their owner’s workday and need to spend the day in a doggie day care center. Some doggy day care facilities provide overnight boarding services in addition to day care services for dogs. Doggy day care is not for every dog, however, as these facilities emphasize group interaction in which dogs romp and play together. If your dog is shy, fearful, anxious or shows aggression toward other dogs, then doggie day care is not a good choice for your canine companion.
Modern Boarding: The Pet Resort
Pet boarding facilities have come a long way in recent years when it comes to providing all of the creature comforts and spa-like atmospheres. Today’s pet resort offers more than a cage or kitty condo in which to sleep and suffer from boredom. These modern facilities often include fully equipped play areas, larger sleeping quarters, grooming and massage parlors and recreational physical activities. Some pet resorts board cats and dogs, some accommodate solely dogs and others cater exclusively to the feline kind. Keep in mind that these pet hotels tend to book long in advance.
If you opt to leave your pet at home in its familiar surroundings, you can enlist the services of a pet sitter. Some pet sitters will move into your home to deter burglars from breaking into a house that may otherwise appear uninhabited. Other sitters will visit your home every day to care for your pets and to provide them with human companionship. A pet sitter is often willing to also bring in your mail and water your plants. When hiring a pet sitter, be sure that the individual is licensed, bonded and experienced in caring for pets and handling potential emergencies.
Going to Grandma’s
Another option for your pet may be presented when a parent, a sibling or another trusted family member who loves animals offers to welcome your pet into his or her home while you are away. If your pet has a good relationship with this relative and the person is trustworthy, this is a good alternative. Your pet will receive human interaction from someone with which it is familiar. If this relative has pets of his or her own that your own pet gets along with, this will provide plenty of socialization time for all of the critters involved. Avoid making this choice if the relative is not experienced with caring for a pet, however. Feeding a pet and playing with it are easy enough, but if your pet should become ill or injured, you want someone who can confidently take control of the situation and provide the necessary care.
Avoid Animal Hospital Boarding
Many small animal hospitals provide pet boarding services to their clients. Unsuspecting pet owners believe that this is an ideal scenario in case their pets should become ill while they are away. Unfortunately, unless the pet is ill or requires daily medical care, animal hospitals are not ideal boarding environments for your pet. Their primary focus is on the daily operations of the hospital. Minimal focus and attention is given to the animals that are boarding. On days when the hospital is closed for business, a staff member stops in for a brief period of time to provide the basic minimal care and nothing more. For the remainder of that day, the pet is in a cage, the room is likely dark and the animal receives no human contact or stimulation.
Choosing the right option for your pet depends primarily on the unique needs and personality of your pet. Most cats prefer to remain in their homes, and most dogs prefer companionship and interaction with other dogs and humans. Find here tips on how to find a proper cat sitter for your feline friend. These are generalizations, however, and you need to place your pet where it is most likely to be happy. Once you are assured that your pet is happy and being properly taken care of, then you can worry less about your furry friend and enjoy your vacation.