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Great alternatives to kenneling your pet

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

The dog days of summer

Summer is almost here which means it's time to plan your family vacation! After you determine when and where, if you have a furry family member or two you'll be left with one more decision. Determining what to do with your pet while you are away is often one of the hardest parts of being a pet owner.
Sad dog in kennel

Leaving your pet behind can come at a cost and both you and Fido may experience a little anxiety along the way. So what to do?

Kenneling your pet during a family vacation or business trip is a situation many pet owners and their four-legged friends have to face. The traditional boarding facilities of years past have come a long way from a room full of cages. Many boarding facilities are all-out pet resorts complete with pools, yards, and comfy beds. However, higher-end boarding facilities complete with all the features of a home environment come at a cost. Luckily there are some alternatives to consider if you don’t think your pet will do well in a kennel situation or if you’d like to save a little cash.

Hire a pet sitter

Consider: If you can't find a professional sitter, an older teenager in your neighborhood that you can trust may be an option.

Professional pet sitters are available in just about any major city. Their services typically vary from stopping by once a day to provide fresh food and water to spending more time with your pet and even taking them on walks. For cats this can be a great alternative to boarding. Fresh food, water and a clean litter box will keep your cat relatively happy while you are away, and they’ll likely do okay without much human interaction. The situation isn’t quite as ideal for dogs as they typically require more interaction and exercise.

Hire a house and pet sitter

Consider: You might look for a college student that could use a little extra cash and even offer to stock the refrigerator for them.

Your pet will always be most comfortable in their own environment. Keeping your pet at home will likely avoid unnecessary stress for your animal. In addition, if you have a dog that doesn’t get along well with other animals, has health issues or is prone to anxiety, taking them to a kennel may be out of the question altogether. Hiring someone to stay at your home while you are away and care for your pet will create the most consistent and normal situation for your pet.

Slumber party!

Make friends with another pet owner that cares for their pets in a similar way that you do. Offer to let their pets come stay with you while they are away if they are willing to do the same for you. Spend some time beforehand getting your pets acquainted with their pets and their home so that when you do leave your pet, it's in a familiar situation. This situation will be the most budget-friendly and may give you the most peace of mind.

Bring them with youIsolated travel dog

While it may not always be possible, you could consider the option of bringing your pet along. There are several pet-friendly vacation options so you don’t have to worry about what your pet will do while you are away. Many hotels, resorts, and even cruise lines are pet-friendly so that you can take a vacation with your pet.

The goal of any vacation should be to enjoy yourself and not spend your time worrying about your pets back home. Consider your pet and your budget and determine what situation would work best for all of you. Be sure to leave emergency contact numbers, information about your vet, and any special instructions your pet may require.

Tell us

What do you do with your pets while you are away?

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