We often get calls from potential clients wondering what their options are when it comes to pet care. Many people think their only option is to board their pets at a kennel. And several are surprised that there are other options available. Which is great news, since many pets do not do well at the kennel; they get nervous from other dogs barking, and they don’t like to be kept in a small room only to be let out twice a day. They want to be with people, and sleep in their favorite spot at home. Not to mention, most kennels and vets book up months before a holiday comes around when you’re likely to need someone to watch your pets the most.
That being said, what are some other options for pet care? And what’s the difference between them?
A growing trend in pet care is hiring an in-home pet sitter. Yes, it may sound a little strange having someone let themselves into your home when you’re not there. But that’s why you meet them first and confirm that they have liability and bonding insurance. And why not ask for references? Any legitimate pet sitter will have them. Having a pet sitter come to the house is a great idea. Think about it… no transporting your dogs to the kennel, no packing up and lugging around all of their supplies, no worrying about them becoming depressed sitting in a small room or cage for 23-hours a day wondering if you’ll be back to pick them up. All you do is give them a good scratch under the chin, leave them in their home, and tell them their pet sitter will be at the house shortly. Feeding, outside time, and home care is included. Their pet sitter can stop by the house morning, afternoon, and evening to check on all your pets. Cats? No problem. Bunny rabbits? Love them. Guinea pigs? So fun. Pterodactyls? Could be problematic. Hopefully you don’t have those.
Want to make sure that your pet sitter is showing up? Of course you do. You should. So have them call or text you to check in. Ask that they text you a picture of your pooch. Have them call you from your home phone. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Heck, you could even ask to speak to your dog. We all know some animal lovers can be a little… shall we say, eccentric?
A different kind of pet sitting service is private boarding. Wait. I just said pets don’t like to be boarded. Exception: if they are being “boarded” at someone’s home. Excellent idea! Private boarding allows your pets to stay with another family. They will quickly find their favorite spot under the desk or by the couch. And they will become fast friends with the family’s other pets and (maybe) kids. Private boarding is great for those pets who might just need a little more attention than typical pet sitting visits to your home provide. Caveat – the boarding family may just want to hold on to your pups forever!
So these services are great if you’re going out of town for a bit. But what if you just got promoted to manager and you’ll be working long days. Is it fair to keep Max cooped up at home for 12 hours a day while you’re at work? Of course not. Good thing pet sitters can also provide a midday dog walking service. Give Max a break! Let his pet sitter give him a nice, long walk at lunchtime. It’ll be great for him, plus you won’t have to do it when you get home at night exhausted from all your managing. Your dog walker can give Max treats, fresh water, even brush his hair if he likes that kind of thing.
So what will help you the most? In-home pet sitting? Private boarding? Midday dog walking? All services well worth their weight in gold. A happy pet is a healthy pet!