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My husband and I like to get away for a week-end road trip on occasion. It has become pretty pricey to leave our dog at the doggie motel (vet's boarding), so we worked out a trade with our neighbors.
When we go away, they take care of our dog and when they go away, we do the same for them and take care of their dog. It saves us time and money, plus our dog is much happier staying with people she knows and still being able to go for walks in her own neighborhood. We don't worry about her when we are gone.
By Bobbie G. from Rockwall, TX
We do the same thing, having such wonderful neighbours. Plus we know our dogs are being well looked after and are happy in a familiar environment. We return the favour when necessary.
To put your loved one in a kennel is like jail. They don't know what they did wrong to be punished. Always a better decision to have them in familiar surroundings with trusted responsible people. Another answer is a friend who enjoys your dog, visits with them and takes them home with them on occasion. Good friends would rather take your dog for a short period than see them in jail.
Let me give a short synopsie of 2 separate things that happened to my pets.
1. I had to go away for a 4 day weekend to a wedding so I didn't think I"d be able to spend as much time with my 2 small dogs and 1 cat. These 3 animals are extremely close and get highly upset if one of the 3 is separated from them. I had tried to locate a pet sitter to come in but couldn't find anyone I trusted. So I took them to my vet. My dogs' stomachs are highly sensitive to change in diet so I took a 20 lb bag, plus a 4 lb bag of cat food for the cat. I had arranged it with the vet that the dogs and the cat would all 3 be put into one large cage in the cat area. They even took me back and showed me when I brought them in.
When I returned to get them neither the dog food or the cat food had been opened, and my dogs had been moved into the dog area as soon as I had left (this info came from someone who worked there). One of my dogs was very ill from the diet change, the other was so sick I had to take her to another vert (took all 3) for treatment. Almost lost her. They were all 3 very stressed from the separation too. Next vet said if I'd have been gone 2 more days I'd have lost her, and the other two wouldn't have been far behind.
2. Had to away again for another 4 day. I searched online and in the phone book and finally found a pet sitter to come to my home 4 times a day. I checked her out on Angie's List and Craig's List (I know now that Craig's can't be trusted) and also with references. She seemed to be a good find.
When I got back however, I had several neighbors come over and ask why I had left my dogs with to way to go outside and no food or water. Come to find out she came only twice the whole weekend---once right after I left, and once just before I was due home. You can imagine how upset I was to hear this!
Now let me clarify one thing. These neighbors who came and told me this were the same neighbors who had always told me in the past that if something like this ever came up to let them know and they'd take care of the dogs for me. This came from 6 different houses on my cul-de-sac. But when the time actually came, even tho I asked 6 weeks in advance, suddenly not a single one of them would be available. And this type thing is typical for my neighbors. So my only choices on these two occasions was to hire from the phone book or online, or take them with me which I didn't believe would be feasible at the time.
Since then, If I can't take my pets with me, I don't go. They aren't any trouble since they've traveled with me ever since they were pups/kitten. I always try to stay at a Motel 6 because they are always clean and convenient to a restaurant, and there is no deposit required for pets.
To save on pet boarding costs, and to be sure our pets are safe and well cared for, my mother and I care for each others' pets. Our dogs get to play with their best friends and we all have a relaxing vacation, knowing we don't have to worry about our babies!
By catastrofy from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada