If you saw our Pet Talk segment on WDBJ7 this week, you’ll know that we spoke about how to choose what’s best for pets when we humans go on vacation and can’t take them with us. We wanted to elaborate a bit since this is such an important topic.

We know it can be worrisome to leave your pets, especially for an extended period of time. But luckily, there are a variety of great options to think about when selecting the appropriate care for your companions!

You might consider boarding if:

  • you only have one or two pets
  • your trip is a short one
  • your pet does well meeting new people and other pets
  • your pet is already familiar with the boarding environment or adapts quickly to change

You might consider a pet sitter if:

  • you have multiple pets in your home
  • you’ll be away for a lengthy period of time
  • your pet is fearful or anxious when meeting new people and pets
  • your pet has issues with mobility or takes medications

Whether choosing a boarding facility or a pet sitter, you’ll want to make sure the business is licensed, insured, and bonded. If you’re leaning towards using a boarding facility, your veterinarian or doggy day care provider may also offer boarding services. And you may have a friend who knows a reliable pet sitter, so it’s great to ask folks you trust about their own experiences with these services.

It’s also great to ask lots of questions. Is the pet sitter or the boarding facility staff around 24/7? Would they be able to give your pet medications if they take any? Are they certified in Pet CPR and First Aid? Do they have references? Do they have transportation so they could get your pet to the veterinarian if necessary? Will they provide you with regular updates about your pet? Can they meet your pet in advance to familiarize with them? These are just a few of the types of questions that are important to discuss with someone who may be caring for your best friends.

Before you leave, it’s also a good idea to make sure your contact information is up-to-date with your pet’s microchip company. In addition, be sure to leave a list of emergency contact numbers for your pet sitter or boarder as well, and make sure you’ve notified your emergency contacts of your plans. And if you choose to board your pet, you may want to check if you can send some items of comfort to the facility. Your pet’s favorite bed, toys, or treats may help them feel more at ease in a boarding facility.

With a little preparation, you can ensure that your pet has a healthy and happy time with a new friend or friends while you enjoy a much needed vacation!

man holding dog while dog licks his face