Sunday, September 5, 2010
I am heading off to Greece tomorrow! Through a friend I have found a reliable pet sitter that will also tend to my house.
How do you find reliable dog sitters when you travel?
Here are a number of things that you might think about doing to find care for your pet and to ease your mind while you are away from home.
A Friend Or Neighbor At The Home
Do you have a trusted friend or neighbor? Some animals, cats in particular, prefer a familiar surrounding. Assess what your pets needs are and determine if the pet staying at home is an option for you. A friend who adores your pets and would not mind house sitting might be a particularly good option for you. If you have cats that are very low maintenance, perhaps a neighbor can check in on them a minimum of every other day to change litter and give them affection.
A Friend Or Neighbor Away From Home
This option would most likely pertain to only dogs. Dogs are okay with a change in routine and may even be excited for a little adventure. Make sure that the person who is caring for these pets have all of the appropriate tools to feed, groom, walk, and care for your pet from their home.
There are a number of web sites available that offer services of pet caregivers. These are people who sign up to a site and are paid to watch your pets from your home or just walk them (live in or out). These web sites can do background checks, provide references, and sort providers by the amount of pay, experience, distance, and amount of work that they do. These people range from college students who need extra income to people who work regularly caring for animals at vets, shelters, and grooming facilities. Make sure to interview and introduce your pet to them before hiring, research their background thoroughly, and hire only if and when you feel you have make a decision you can be comfortable with. Once you do find someone you like and trust, a pet provider can be great to have around, especially for short term care or last minute trips.
There are many pet boarding facilities that range in price and level of care for your pets. Be prepared to do a little leg work ahead of time in making sure the dates you choose are available, your animals are treated ahead of time for fleas or other conditions, your animals have shots that are up to date, and be sure that the conditions are ones in which your animals will be safe and happy. Ask how often they are given affection, meals, treats, walks, medication, etc. and tour the facility. Another option might be to find a pet boarding facility at your vacation destination. If this option is feasible you may have to drive or fly with the animals, but can check in on them periodically.
Leave Detailed Instructions
Whatever option you decide to choose, be sure to leave a detailed note listing the routine and care procedures for your animals. Times of feeding, litter changing, walks, grooming, medications, and toy and bedding preferences should all be listed. Do not forget to leave emergency phone numbers for your cell phone, vacation destination, and a phone number and address of the closest veterinary clinic. You also might consider speaking with your vet and leaving instructions for emergency care. Your vet will need the name of the caregiver and billing instructions.
With the proper pet sitter, supplies, and instructions, you can take that relaxing and stress free vacation without worry!