You can leave the Christmas gift shopping until the last minute if you want, but if you're planning to travel during the Christmas season, you'd better think seriously about making pet care arrangements now.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for most boarding kennels and in-home pet sitters. Many of them are taking bookings for Christmas care in January or February, and expect to be fully booked in a matter of weeks.
A few years ago you had only two options. You could ask a neighbor to care for your animals or take them to a kennel.
If your neighbors were also going away, it negated option one. If you felt your pet would not adapt to a kennel your only alternative may have been to stay at home.
Professional pet sitters now provide a welcome alternative for pet owners. But since you will be giving a complete stranger unlimited access to your home, booking a pet sitter is something to be taken very seriously. Some so-called pet sitters are fly-by-night entrepreneurs who give the licensed, bonded and insured companies a bad name.Does Pet Sitting Make Sense for You?
For cats, small mammals, birds, fish and exotic animals, in-home pet sitting makes terrific sense. However, some pet owners may feel uneasy about dogs because they could act aggressively in defending their home territory.
You also have to ask yourself if you really think your dog will be happy being left at home for long periods of time. (Pet sitters charge extra for each additional visit.) Will your dog get enough exercise, socialization and stimulation? Does he need medication? Does he react violently to thunder storms?
While you may find the idea of booking your dog into a kennel unappealing, chances are good that your dog might just think otherwise. A week in a kennel can be fun for most dogs. They can bark. They can play. They can even stay up past their bedtime if they want! You may want to consider that option, especially if your dog is a young and energetic.
A pet sitter should insist on meeting your pets and having a tour of your home and yard about one week before your scheduled vacation. This way a dog will be more likely to remember this new person who is suddenly entrusted with its care.
You should also ask the pet sitter for at least three references and check with the Better Business Bureau to be certain the company has bothered to register.
In-home care and security for your pets and property should include:
- Complete care, feeding and exercising of all pets.
- Interior and exterior security checks of your home and property.
- Bringing in mail, flyers and newspapers.
- Watering plants.
- Anything that requires immediate attention.
Arranging for a schedule of in-home visitations while you are away not only assures the very best care and attention for your pets, but can also buy you peace of mind.
Article submitted by: © Terri Perrin