If you are a pet owner, you want the best for your pet. This means that when you travel out of town, you’ll need to find overnight care for your pet, but you don’t want just any care – you want something extraordinary. Besides, the point of taking a vacation is to relax and unwind, and when you work a job that results in lots of stress (this is particularly true for managers and those in managerial roles), you need that time away without any added anxiety. So, how do you go about finding high-quality care that doesn’t break the bank? Glad you asked! Here are a few tips.
What Kind of Care?
You should first determine what kind of care you want for your pet. Boarding at a facility has been the traditional solution, but facilities are no longer just the cold concrete and chain link fences they used to be. Pet hotels can be as swanky as human versions, with pet TVs, pools, playtime and even massages. Some veterinarians also offer boarding for pets. These facilities tend to be more utilitarian, and most of the attention goes to animals who are there for medical care.
Another option is a private pet sitter. These break down into a couple of different kinds. Some will come to your house every day to feed and water your pet, let them go to the bathroom, etc. Others will actually stay in your home while you’re away, giving your pet a constant companion. This also allows them to take care of other tasks for your home while you’re gone.
Prices vary for all of these services. Consider not only price, but what is best for your pet. Many pets get stressed when they are away from their normal environments, so some owners opt for a private pet sitter. Either way, make sure you do your research before you make a choice.
Start With Your Vet
This may be stating the obvious, but a great place to start when looking for quality pet care is with your veterinarian. They likely have a list of recommended boarding facilities and/or pet sitters who they have used in the past with good success. Another strategy is to ask friends and family if they have any recommendations for a trusted cat sitter or dog boarder who can take care of your pets while you’re away. If they have had good experiences in the past, that’s a good sign for your pet.
Ask for Certification
If you go the pet sitter route, ask potential carers if they have obtained certification through one of two national agencies that train and certify pet sitters: The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), or Pet Sitters International (PSI). While you may not expect every pet sitter to have one of these certifications, they would certainly put any candidate who does have them head and shoulders above the rest.
If you hire a pet sitter, be sure to get a signed contract from them that specifies exactly the services they will provide. This person will have access to your home and belongings in addition to your pet, so you want to have assurances they will do as promised. You should also put emergency plans in place so they know what to do if something should happen to your pet while you are gone. Make sure your sitter documents any medical treatments while you’re gone and has full access to your vet if anything out of the norm should occur.
Following these suggestions can give you peace of mind if you have to leave your pet at home while you are out of town. You want to know your pet will be well taken care of, so don’t leave anything to chance. Hire the best pet sitter or boarding facility you can find, and you’ll have an even better vacation than you would have otherwise!
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