By Guest Author: Nick Burton
While you’d love to take your pet with you everywhere, that’s not always possible. Whether you’re traveling for work, for example, there are limitations when it comes to bringing your furball along. And if you work in an industry or have a job that yields high levels of stress (this is particularly true for those who have some sort of managerial role), you don’t want to add to your anxiety by worrying about who is looking after your pet. So, it’s important that you have a plan in place for quality overnight care.
Try to avoid waiting until the last minute to research your options, as it can take time to interview potential candidates and facilities before making a final decision. While you’re not left with a lot of options, here’s a deeper look into each one from TreyTracyTravel.com so you can make the best choice for your pet.
Friends, Family, and Neighbors
Let’s be clear: Nobody is going to love your pet as much as you do, so unless you’re 100 percent confident that your neighbor, friends, or family can take care of your pet while you’re away, you may not want to risk it. Unlike a professional facility or individual (more to come), others may not be invested into the well-being of your pet. On the other hand, perhaps you have a senior parent who is uplifted by your dog or cat’s presence. Asking for assistance from people you know can be a little nerve wracking though - here’s some advice on asking nicely and with courtesy.
Consider a Pet Boarding Facility
There are pros and cons to boarding facilities. The plus side includes the fact that food and medications are monitored, dogs can be social with other canines, and that your pet will be safe and protected. Negative aspects include the fact that not all pets do well in a kennel environment and can experience extreme anxiety, digestive issues, and a sense of abandonment — especially cats who typically like a quiet environment. While boarding facilities for felines and dogs have come a long way, consider whether this option will do more harm than good depending upon the temperament, age, and current health status of your pet. If you do go this route, don’t drop your pet off without touring the facilities, inquiring about vaccination requirements, and asking about how they interact with the pets.
Hire a Pet Sitter
Perhaps the most desirable option is to hire a pet sitter to come to your home and watch your cat or dog. Animals are happier in their own environment and experience less stress, their diet and exercise routines are uninterrupted, and exposure to illness is minimized. Pet owners have said they have more peace of mind hiring a sitter and oftentimes save money by avoiding expensive boarding costs. If you decide to use a sitter that requires the pet to come to their home, be sure to buy your cat and dog a bed to provide safety and comfort when they’re away from home, as animals feel more vulnerable when they’re asleep.
When choosing a sitter, ask for referrals from friends and neighbors before conducting your own online search. Make sure the pro has references and liability insurance, ask what types of pets they have experience watching and whether they’re comfortable handling an animal who may have a medical condition or mobility issues.
Keep in mind that puppies should only be left alone for two hours a day, adult dogs four to six hours, and cats 24 to 48 hours if they rely on dry food — though that is a worst-case scenario. With that in mind, it’s easier to understand the importance of having a plan in place for overnight care. Leaving once in a while is normal, but one should consider their lifestyle before committing to a pet, as it’s only fair that you’re giving it the best living environment possible.
Photo Credit: Pixabay