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How to find a trustworthy pet-sitter or doggy day care

Virginia Chavez-Nelson is an avid contributor of words for the greater good (see: writer) and a fun-loving Phoenician by way of Argentina. With a degree in Journalism from Arizona State University, Virginia has more than 10 years of expe...

What to ask potential pet care providers

Finding a responsible pet care provider while you travel can be a challenging and nerve-wracking experience. When it comes to your furry "babies," don’t settle for anything less than the best. Whether you decide to hire a pet-sitter or take Fido to doggy day care, asking the right questions will help ensure your pet's safety while you're away.

What to ask potential pet care providers

How do you choose between a pet-sitter and doggy day care?

Pet-sitters are best suited for dogs that enjoy being at home and feel most comfortable in their regular surroundings. Households with multiple pets might consider hiring a pet-sitter as a cost-effective option since many pet-sitters charge minimal to no fees for multiple pets. Pet-sitters can also take care of simple home maintenance needs such as picking up your mail and watering plants. An added bonus: Having a visitor in your home can help deter potential intruders.

How to find a trustworthy pet-sitter

Make sure your pet-sitter is licensed and bonded

Networks such as Pet Sitters International allow you to search for licensed and bonded pet-sitters based on where you live.

Ask for references

Any dependable pet-sitter should be able to provide you with at least three references. Make sure to contact each reference and ask them to provide their feedback.

Does your pet-sitter have a back-up?

Be sure to ask your pet-sitter how your pet will be tended to in case the assigned pet-sitter is unable to make it due to an emergency.

Is a meet-and-greet included free of charge?

Most pet-sitters will include a free consultation to get comfortable with your pet. Once you find a pet-sitter that fits the bill, it's Fido's turn to make the final decision.

If your pet suffers from separation anxiety or is destructive when you leave the home, a doggy day care may be a better option. Doggy day care facilities allow you to prevent your pet from finding any opportunities to act out, by providing a safe and supervised environment. Most even allow a variety of sleeping accommodations to ensure your pet's comfort.

How to find a trustworthy doggy day care

Visit the facility

Don't be afraid to be nosy, ask for a tour and get to know the staff. This gives you a chance to see how the staff interacts with other pets and if it is a well-organized establishment.

Ask for a trial run

Ask the facility of you can drop off your dog for a half-day trial run and see how your pet reacts after spending some time at day care. Some doggy day cares make this a requirement, to make sure your pet plays well with others. If Fido has a bad experience, you'll be the first to know.

Do they require proof of current vaccinations?

The last thing you want to come home to is a sick dog and vet bills. Make sure your facility makes this a requirement to reduce the chance of your puppy catching any germs.

Do they have an emergency plan?

Find out how the facility handles emergencies including fires, break-ins or anything else that may be a threat to your pet. Some locations may provide overnight security to ensure your pets are secure 24/7.

More tips for pet owners

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Pet separation anxiety: 4 Tips to help cope
How to introduce pets to your children

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