Whatever the occasion, but especially at joyous and stressful times like the holidays in December and New Year’s, there are plenty of good options to consider if you need someone to care for your dog while you are away. The key is to explore the options available to you and your dog and then pick the one that will give you and your best friend a chance to be apart but be comfortable at the same time. Knowing your dog is well taken care of while you’re gone requires some research and planning.
Holidays Can Present Challenges For You And Your Pet
If you are traveling and traveling with your beloved dog presents more issues than it solves, then consider this short list. The 5 choices include 1) a pet sitter at your home 2) a pet sitter at their home, 3) a local pet hotel nearby, 4) a boarding facility in the country, or 5) a veterinarian’s office that offers boarding as well. Prices can vary anywhere from $15 an hour to $40 a day per dog at a facility. Costs also vary if you have more than one dog or even a cat or two!
A Pet Sitter at Your Home
If you already know a pet sitter and are comfortable having that pet sitter stay in your home, that’s the best scenario for your dog. It allows your dog to keep a familiar routine in a familiar place. If you don’t know the pet sitter personally but feel comfortable hiring one from a company, be sure to get recommendations and check out the reviews.
A Pet Sitter at Their Home
If you know the pet sitter and are comfortable with him or her, and are comfortable with your dog being at the pet sitter’s home, that’s great. It will take your dog out of usual surroundings and routine, so be sure the pet sitter and surroundings are going to work. You’ll need to check it out together with your dog ahead of time and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Find out about other pets that will be present. Again, be sure to ask for references and check out the reviews.
A Local Pet Hotel Nearby
A number of pet stores have added what they refer to as a pet “hotel” that is part of the pet store, usually off to the side or back of the store where the pets are able to be on their own without too many distractions. Again, it will be unfamiliar and out of routine, so you should check it out together with your dog ahead of time, get a feel for the demeanor of the staff and surroundings and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Also be sure to check out references and reviews.
A Kennel or Boarding Facility in the Country
While a kennel or boarding facility can be anywhere, there tend to be facilities in the countryside where dogs can stay in a natural environment and get a chance to run and explore more than in the pet hotels or veterinarian offices that also provide boarding. As with the local pet hotel, it will be unfamiliar and out of routine, so you should check it out together with your dog ahead of time, get a feel for the demeanor of the staff and surroundings and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Also be sure to check out references and reviews.
A Veterinarian’s Office With Overnight Stay
This is an option if your dog is elderly or has medical issues that need some monitoring from a professional. If it is your veterinarian’s office and they know you and your dog, even better. All the precautions of the first four choices apply here to some extent, so be sure to check it out, ask for references and recommendations, and look at the reviews.
Definitely ask around, your friends and family will definitely have suggestions. Check out the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, which also offers a certification program.
We love our pets and owe it to them and ourselves to never let any harm come to them on our watch.