Pet owners face a significant challenge when planning to travel, namely deciding what to do with their beloved furry friends while away. Our Meadow Vista Vets address boarding choices and key considerations to make when selecting a boarding facility.
As a pet parent, you recognize that pets are not just pets but members of your family. As a result, when entrusting your furry loved one to someone else's care, you want to guarantee that the caregiver is trustworthy and will provide excellent care.
Pet Sitting in Your Home
Having a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member care for your pet in your home is convenient. Cats and dogs are most at ease in their own environments, so having someone you trust to stop by for regular feedings, walks, and playtime is a viable option. Alternatively, if you are gone for an extended period, they could stay in your home and take care of your pets.
Additionally, professional pet sitting services that provide home visits in your local area are available. However, before hiring, conduct research to determine the best option. Start by seeking referrals and examining online reviews from other pet parents. Confirm if the service is insured and if they have received certifications in pet handling and first aid.
Ensuring that the person caring for your pet is responsible and well-versed in basic pet care is crucial. Provide them with all the necessary information regarding your pet, such as feeding schedules, regular routines, and what to do in an emergency.
Private In-home Pet Boarding
Private in-home boarding is an alternative option that involves bringing your pet to a pet sitter's residence before departing on vacation. This choice offers a more personalized atmosphere for your pet with increased one-on-one attention. It can also be a more cost-effective alternative while retaining the added security of not relinquishing your house keys.
If you have a responsible pet-owning friend or family member, they may be willing to welcome your pet into their home while you are away. Alternatively, professional pet-sitting services that provide in-home boarding are also available. However, research the options thoroughly before deciding on one.
Boarding kennels and cat boarding facilities are popular options for pet parents when going away. Cat boarding facilities are similar to dog kennels but with separate areas for cats. Cats may be kept in cages or private cage-free areas, depending on the facility.
Since boarding kennels can fill up quickly, call ahead and make arrangements for your travel dates. Additionally, confirm that the kennel has Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) certification and that the caretakers are licensed.
Boarding at the Vets
If your pet has special medical needs or prefers to have trained veterinary professionals caring for your pet, you may choose to board at your veterinary office or local animal hospital. The primary benefit of boarding through your vet’s office is that there is already an established relationship between the veterinarian and staff and your pet.
How to choose a boarding facility
The first step of the boarding process is asking the right questions and identifying what's most important for your pet, this information can help you decide on the best option. Start by researching the facility online and looking over their online reviews. Once you shortlist your options, you will want to contact the facility to ask questions. Before you call, prepare a list of questions, both general and specific to your pet’s needs.
Some general questions could include:
- What pet care background, certifications, education, and expertise does the facility or individual have?
- What is the ratio of the dog or cat per staff?
- What is their screening process for identifying pets with behavioral issues?
- How many animals do they put in a playgroup?
- How much playtime and exercise will they get?
- How are animals grouped together? (by size, age, temperament, etc.)
- How often are the facilities cleaned?
It can also be helpful to take a tour of a pet boarding facility that you’re considering. While visiting, carefully observe whether this is the appropriate boarding service for your pet.