Leaving Your Pet When You Go Away

Catherine Forman

It's not always possible to bring your pet with you when you go on vacation. Sure, there are pet-friendly hotels out there, but you often have to be in the room with your pet at all times. SO unless your idea of a fun vacation is sitting in a hotel room with your dog, you may need to consider leaving the furry family members at home.


Pet Sitting

If you have the sort of pet who would be happier staying home alone than going to an unfamiliar kennel, you may want to take advantage of a pet sitting service. The sitter you pick can visit your home a pre-arranged number of times each day to feed your pets, take care of bathroom detail, and give your pets some companionship. Be sure to choose your provider carefully -- make sure they have insurance, and ask for referrals. Trust your instincts, and your pets' instincts; if you or your pets don't like the potential sitter, you probably shouldn't hire that person.

Pet Sitting By Family Members

If you don't want your dog or cat to be alone most of the day, you can always ask a family member to house-and-pet-sit for you. Teenagers are usually glad to handle this one. They will be at the house most of the day, even overnight if you want, to take care of the pets. Beware of the potential for unwanted visitors -- you should lay out the rules beforehand if you are having a younger family member do the sitting.



Many doggy day cares also offer a boarding service, where your pet can stay for a few days. And I've seen some pretty luxurious ones, with raised beds and Animal Planet playing for entertainment. It can be an expensive option, but you can usually trust that your pet is being well cared for. You provide your pet's own food, bedding, and toys for the stay, but the staff makes sure they get attention and exercise. Again, be sure to choose your provider carefully -- make sure they have insurance, and ask for referrals. Find out about emergency care, should your pet need it.

Boarding With Family Members

You can always drop your pets off with family or friends for a few days. This can be kind of an imposition on them, to suddenly be responsible for a new furry friend. But lots of animal lovers are glad to help. You may want to do a trial visit before your long vacation -- let your dog or cat visit overnight just to see how it goes. The nice thing about this option is that you know your friends and family and have seen how they interact with your pets. You don't have to worry about a stranger in your home, or taking care of your beloved animals.

April 24, 20060 found this helpful

I take my dogs to PetsMart PetsHotel, and I get them the private suite. They are signed up for doggie day care, please check these people out, they are the best.

Otherwise, I would hire a pet sitter to live in my home to walk them three times a day and spend quality time with them.


Northern Virginia

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April 24, 20060 found this helpful

We have friend pet sit, she comes in the house, 4x a day. On some days she will take our baby home with her for a period of time, but always sleeps at home.


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