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.
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.