Pets and Travelling

With spring officially here, many of us are looking forward to taking trips.  You’ve made the transportation arrangements, the accommodations are lined up, but what are you going to do with your pet?.  If you’re one of my satisfied clients, and you’ve already booked our service during your trip, you don’t need to read any further.   You are a prepared pet owner and your pet is lucky.  If you don’t have specific plans for your pet with a professional to take care of them, keep reading.

Yes I own a pet sitting and dog walking service.  But I understand that our service is not best for everyone.  There are many different ways you can make sure your pet gets the same care it would when you are at home.  I want what’s best for the pet, so I’m going to look at some of those of options.

In home pet sitter – That’s what Fetch! does.  This is when someone comes into your home several times a day or to stay.  They feed, exercise and give companionship to your pets.  There are several things you should check before hiring someone to come into your home.  Several of these are obvious.  Make sure they are bonded and insured.  Make sure you check some references from prior clients.  Check out their webpage and if they have a Facebook page look to see how professional and frequent  the posts are.  Make sure they offer to come over and meet you and the pet before everything is agreed to.  This way you can meet them in person, and more importantly see how they interact with your pet and how your pet reacts to them.  Animals are a very good judge of character and they can sense unease with someone.  Ask them how they will communicate with you.  A good sitter will send you as many updates as you need, via text, phone calls, emails or whatever works best for you.

One of the big advantages of this service is that your house won’t be empty for a long period of time.  It also allows your pet to maintain its routine.

Jameson playing with his favorite ball

It can sleep in the same spot, play in the same areas and eat the same food, in the same bowl at the same time every day.  The pet will be most comfortable this way.  Do you have a neighborhood kid do this?  You could, but would you have a neighborhood kid sell your house or fix your car?  Of course not, unless that’s what they do.   You get what you pay for and having a reputable sitter in your home will ensure that your pet gets the same love and attention while you are away as when you are home.  If you have several pets this is usually a very cost effective way to go.  Most sitters just charge small increases for extra pets.

Boarding – This is when you take your pet to your vet or to a kennel.  This is great for some dogs.  A trip to the kennel is an adventure for some dogs.  I used to take my Lab to a boarding facility and it was “camp” to him.  The staff seemed to really like him and he seemed happy when he returned.  If you are going to do this, make sure you see the cages where the pets will be kept.  Find out if there will be staff around overnight.  Have them show you where the dogs are walked.  Is it clean or do all the dogs do their business there.   Be very suspicious of a place that won’t let you see where your pet will be kept.  You’ll also need to have some shots.  If this isn’t your vet, you should also get some references from clients.  You can also check comments on the internet.

Take your pet with you – This option is gaining in popularity as more and more venues are accepting of pets.  There’s a website, www.bringfido.com that has a lot of great information for people who want to travel with a pet.  They also have a list of many pet services including dog walking companiesand boarding facilities if you decide to leave a pet at home.  If you choose to take one of your pets you may want to break them in with a short trip first to see how they handle being away from home.  Also you want to check with your vet about anything you may need to be aware of regarding specific behavior of your pet.  If you’re traveling by car, make sure you allow time for plenty of potty stops your pet will need.

Dog in seat belt from petaholics.com

If the car is full of luggage, you’ll need to allow a comfortable place for the pets.

Traveling for pleasure is supposed to be a time for you to relax and recharge.  You don’t need to be worrying about your pets back home.  Your planning and budgeting for pet care as part of your vacation plan will lead to peace of mind for you and a happy pet when you return home.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides in-home pet care and dog walking as well as cat care services in Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.

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