Happy Labor Day weekend! It is difficult to travel and leave your fur friends behind and it’s equally difficult to decide who will care for them. Since I retired from my teaching job in 2007, I have operated a pet sitting business called Puppy Luv Pet Sitters LLC in my local area to provide loving care to the pets that my clients can’t take on vacation with them.
I am definitely not anti-boarding facility, but you know your dog and I know mine. My pups would go absolutely crazy and be majorly freaked out in a place where the other dogs were barking non stop and the cats meowing at the top of their lungs. In fact, many dogs are so stressed, they come home sick from any variety of problems.
This is where hiring a local and qualified pet sitter might be your answer. If you check references, ask about insurance and talk with your prospective pet sitter before hiring them, you are most likely to have a good experience. You can find professional pet sitters who are serious about their business by searching www.petsit.com or www.petsits.com using your zip code. Most reputable pet sitters will have websites as well.
There are reasons we don’t ask our neighbors and family or the neighborhood teenager to care for our dogs while we travel. Firstly, our neighbors, while being super nice people, just don’t want to be up at 6-7 am to let our dogs out and then back during the day and late evening. They might graciously do the tasks for a day, but over a long period of time, you may find they no longer answer your phone calls.
Family members who know our dogs are also candidates for pet care, but many have jobs and often do not live nearby. In addition, they may not quite be on the “same page” as you with your animals and it’s a sad story when you have boarded your dog or dogs at a parent or sister’s house and they accidentally let the dog get out to be lost in a neighborhood where they are not familiar. I personally have witnessed that happening a couple of times when I was walking a client’s dog and saw distressed family members searching for their daughter’s dog who had “run” from fear. Both times, I had this sinking feeling that they just might not be found 🙁
As an adult that has raised two children to adulthood, I just couldn’t leave my house key with even the most responsible teenager or even college age young person. The liability of an empty house and teenagers isn’t something listed on my homeowner’s policy! After all, I was a high school and junior college teacher for 28 years so I do know something about the youth psyche and good judgement isn’t always top of the list.
Taking your dogs along is always the best answer when it’s possible, but if you must leave them home when you go on vacation, consider using a pet sitter. The dogs will be comfy in their own beds, eating from their own bowls and because they do not have the sense of time of humans, when you come home….they’ll think you’ve just been to work!