Are you and/or your family going away? But unsure of the best solution how to have your furry kids looked after? Remember, every solution has their benefits and disadvantages. What you need is the right solution for you and trusting with a peace of mind that your furry kids will be taken care of while you are away. Pet owners themselves implement one solution one time, and another the next. It all depends on the circumstances!
Boarding facilities for dogs and cats
Kennels and cat kennels specialize in looking after pets in purpose-built premises when their owners are away. These are sometimes criticized. But they can be establishments of the highest quality owned and run by skilled professionals who are real animal lovers.
Benefits of boarding:
- You can be sure a close watch is kept over your pet. Individual kennels may give onto small open areas where dogs can breathe fresh air and meet companions. In most good kennels, dogs are let out multiple times a day to run in a special compound
- Boarding is a practical solution for repeated and short owner absences.
- Kennels usually bill per day, with special extras offered for an additional price.
Disadvantages of boarding:
- Some pets find it difficult to adapt. Cats, in particular, don’t like being moved from their familiar surroundings. Being kept cooped up, especially more than a few days, can be difficult for cats to bear, especially if they are used to roaming free. Some dogs are stressed by being moved to new surroundings and by the barking of other dogs, which they are unfamiliar to.
- The cost of boarding (charged by the day) can take a big chunk out of the holiday spending budget.
- Contagious diseases, like kennel cough, distemper, giardiasis and coccidiosis are found in kennels. The cramped conditions make it simple for viruses and parasites to travel with ease among dogs and cats. Puppies and kittens especially should avoid being boarded as their immune systems are very susceptible to picking up these illnesses.
- Since there are so many animals in one place, the staff can’t give each pet special attention. Extra playtime or walk sessions must be purchased in addition to boarding fees.
- The kennel will perform feedings, bathroom breaks, and walks according to their schedule, not yours. Particularly with puppies, sticking to a schedule is important, so boarding a young animal is not recommended.
Calling on Pet-sitters
A pet-sitter is someone who will look after your dogs or cats in your home, in most cases coming round for short periods only. Often these are young persons who like animals and look after pets for pocket-money. But there are people who do pet-sitting as their living professional and also are insured. Pet-sitters will take dogs out for their walks, drop by to feed the dog/s or take it for a walk if it is left too long alone (when the owner comes back late from work). Pet-sitters will come to your home and check the cat as well, give it the affection they need, clean their litters and feed them as and when necessary.
Benefits of pet-sitting:
- Practicality, it is better to find someone who is in the neighbourhood to look after your pets when left on their own all day.
- Pet-sitting is recommended for cats, who are territorial and don’t like being moved out of their normal surroundings.
- Your pet can keep his or her routine. Especially if you own a puppy or kitten, sticking to a bathroom and feeding regimen is essential.
- In the event of an emergency, pet sitters are specially trained to handle any health emergencies that may occur. If you have a pet with special dietary or medical needs, the caretaker can administer medications.
- Pets are given special attention and playtime with pet sitters; things that kennels charge extra for.
- Pet sitters can also bring in mail, water plants, and turn lights on/off to deter burglars while you’re away.
- If the owner is away for a few days or more, short daily visits may not be enough. Pets may not like feeling that their home is empty and can cause some behavioural issues.
- Pet-sitters are generally paid by the hour or day. Pet-sitters can be costly when you go away on holiday.
- Since pet sitters typically charge anywhere from $10 upwards per house visit, that can add up fast; dogs need to be let out multiple times per day, especially puppies.
- If your dog or cat doesn’t react well to strangers, especially displaying signs of aggression, he or she may not be too fond of a pet sitter.
Finding house-sitters to look after your pets at home
House-sitting ensures your pets regularly looked after in their own home. It’s an ideal solution if you want to go on holiday with peace of mind. House-sitters are people just like you. They look after people’s homes as a way of travelling and discovering new places. Travel costs less (no hotels) and house-sitters like being useful. So there are plenty of animal-loving house-sitters to choose from!
Benefits of house-sitting:
- Pet-sitters keep your pets happy. Your four-legged companions stay in the home they are used to. They enjoy lots of company from people who give them the affection they need.
- Pet-sitters also keep watch over your home. Your property is occupied! The risk of a break-in is reduced. Many homeowners like to have house-sitters to look after their home when on holiday, to stop it being left empty.
- This is a very low-cost solution. In general, house-sitters provide their services free of charge as they get accommodation in exchange for their services. The holiday budget for homeowners is that much less!
- House sitters can look after other animals too, of course. Not just dogs or cats, but horses in the paddock, fishes in the tank, or birds in cages. Home routines stay unchanged while you’re away.
- The decision to have someone to live in your home may not be easy. You have to find the right person, and that means taking the time to get to know one another to make sure you can trust them to leave your furry kids with them and your home.
- The accommodation you provide a house-sitter must be of as high a standard as for a family guest.
- One possible snag is inviting pet-sitters to spend a night or two in your home before you go away on your holiday. It’s the best option! To make sure that any house-sitters can work through daily routines under supervision. And welcoming people into your home isn’t so difficult, especially if you share a meal and strike up a friendship with them.
The bottom line is this: Choose a pet care service that meets your dog or cat’s needs and your own budget. Pet parents with young animals or those with special medical needs should consider pet sitters or house-sitters in order to keep them on a strict regimen. Adult dogs without these requirements have no problems being boarded and emerge perfectly fine.
Written by Mclean Animal Hospital