Proper Pet Care Provides Peace of Mind When You Travel
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
By Guest Author: Nick Burton
Finding a trustworthy pet care provider can make all the difference when you travel. Whether for work or play, it’s hard to enjoy your adventures if you aren’t convinced your furry family members are in good hands. Here are some tips for finding high-quality overnight pet care.
Family Comes First
Most pet owners feel their furry companions are part of the family. That means when you head out of town, your first priority is finding reliable hands to tend to your beloved feline or canine friend. Unfortunately, there are many news clips we see of sitters and kennels that aren’t up to snuff or don’t provide the services they promise, so it’s easy to see why many pet owners are left with lingering doubts about the best care for their companions when they’re away. How do you identify a care provider you can trust with your furry family member?
Well in advance of your travels, you should start researching pet care providers in your area. One suggestion is to talk with other pet lovers for recommendations. Reach out to your vet, groomer, and even friends and neighbors to see if there is someone they used previously and can recommend. You can also check with your coworkers, and if you frequent dog parks or other pet-oriented facilities, talk with fellow pet owners about who is reliable. You can also check out online listings. It’s a great way to find a cat sitter or dog boarder to care for your pet.
Also, keep in mind that if you have an older pet, you may want to find someone who has experience with animals who are up in age. Fortunately, websites such as City Pet Sitters can help you locate people who have plenty of experience in this department, which will give you some peace of mind knowing that your older pet is being well taken care of in your absence.
In-Home or Offsite?
There are advantages to hiring a pet sitter, since your furry friend can stay home and enjoy as much of their normal routine as usual, which can greatly reduce stress for you and your pet. PetFinder notes that a pet sitter can mean someone is picking up your mail and helping with the security of your home as well as tending pets’ needs. If having someone stay overnight in your home makes you wary, another option is to schedule a sitter to make drop-in visits. This can actually be simple and stress-free if you situate your pet with an automatic feeder that will take care of mealtimes. Then, hire someone to drop by at least three times a day — once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening — for 30 minutes or so to walk and/or simply spend some quality time with your companion. Just make sure you have all the necessary gear to help out, including a sturdy leash, a top-rated flea collar, and any supplies the sitter might need to clean up after your pet should any accidents occur.
Some pet owners prefer not having providers come into their homes at all. In that case, pet boarding is a better option. Some pet boarding professionals offer care in their residence, which is the next best thing.
Talk with Prospects
You shouldn’t hire anyone based solely on other people’s say-so. Interview pet care candidates in person before making your selection. Some of the things you should discuss are:
What kinds of animals does the person or facility normally tend?
Has this prospect participated in any special animal care-related training?
What services are provided?
Is this care provider associated with any emergency veterinary facilities?
Many pet care providers make notes of your animal’s performance, which can help you gauge how well things go. (Did any meals get skipped? Were bathroom habits normal?) Does the provider offer a written report of how your pet does?
Is there a written contract for services?
You should also consider setting up a playdate to test drive your top candidate with your furry friend. Seeing how they interact can seal the deal. Finally, ask for a list of references — and check them!
Sometimes, pet sitters and boarders have additional credentials. For instance, certain online platforms vet prospects and also provide commercial liability insurance coverage; note independent pet care providers should be able to produce written proof of coverage. Care providers are also sometimes trained for animal first aid through organizations such as the American Red Cross, which can provide you additional peace of mind and potentially help save your pet should an emergency occur.
When you leave for your trip, you should provide your pet care professional with written information about your pet and your trip. By writing down pertinent data, your care provider can refer to it should any questions or concerns arise. Include information such as:
Your pet’s food and feeding times.
Any medications and/or medical issues.
Veterinary contact information.
Your emergency contact information, including travel itinerary and hotel.
Your pet’s general routine.
Any quirks regarding your pet’s habits.
Enjoy Your Trip!
Put your pet’s needs first and choose high-quality pet care. Do your research, and select carefully. With a well-chosen pet care provider, you can travel with your mind at ease.