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Alternatives to kenneling your pets

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

To kennel your pet or not?

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, family vacation or a business trip, figuring out the best option for your pets can be challenging, if not heart-wrenching, if either of you have separation anxiety. Nicola Anderson, renowned Australian dog trainer and founder of TheDogBlog.com, says that kenneling isn’t the only solution. Here are some alternatives to kenneling your pets.

Dog ready for vacation

Kenneling is expensive

Though most kennels take expert care of our furry friends, kenneling can be a pricey option, costing anywhere from $20 to $200 a night. Certainly kenneling is an easy go-to solution for when you travel, but if your budget is tight, you may want to consider other travel solutions for your pets. Anderson is quick to add, however, that "the perk to kenneling is that if your pet were ever to get sick, they'd be around professional help and receive it on site."

Pet sitters to the rescue

"Pet sitters can always be a good option, especially since your animal will be left in its own environment and is usually less stressed," says Anderson. "It's important to remember that many professional sitters are usually booked up months in advance, which can make it hard when owners have left scheduling until the last minute." Be sure to book sooner rather than later. Pet sitters may also be pricey, but having your pet left in its familiar surroundings may be worth it for your and your pet's peace of mind.

Leave your pet with friends or family

If you're lucky enough to have friends and family nearby who are willing to take care of your pet, give them a chance. "This can be a much cheaper and easier alternative to finding pet-friendly accommodations," explains Anderson. "Keep in mind, too, that your pet will definitely be more relaxed around people it knows." Before you make this kind of arrangement with your pet, however, remember that if your friends or relatives have little pet knowledge, they may not realize when something is wrong with your pet.

Travel with your pet

Unless you have an exceedingly high-strung animal, traveling with the family pet is generally a relatively relaxed experience for everyone, says Anderson. "Pet owners can ensure that their pets are safe, and your pet is with familiar faces," she adds. "If you're staying in a hotel, check out PetsWelcome.comfor pet friendly hotels in the US and Canada." Another travel bonus: Airlines are also becoming more accommodating to traveling pets.

Anderson reminds pet owners once again that you it's a good idea to do your research well in advance of upcoming trips so you can make the best arrangements for your pets, whether they are traveling with you, staying home or being kenneled.

More pet-friendly travel tips

How to travel with your dog
Top 5 pet-friendly airlines
Top 6 pet-friendly hotels in the US

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