On The Road Without Them

In May we'll be flying to Colorado to attend a graduation and visit family. Since we'll be gone for almost a week, we've been seriously investigating what to do with the girls while we're gone. We've ruled out taking them with us for OH so many reasons, but there are still several options for them here.

* Boarding kennel: People often think that boarding their pets means leaving them in rows of cages for hours on end, only to be taken for a walk and put back in. This is no longer the case, as many boarding centers are more like little day spas than jail cells. (A couple I've seen make me wish I was the one going there and not the pets!)

Do your research before leaving your pets at a kennel. Ask about their schedule - are they allowed out and about during the day? How often are they fed, walked and groomed? How many other animals will be around for them to socialize with? Is there someone available overnight to check in on them?

If you decide on this route, drop in unannounced sometime during the week before you leave and see what a normal day is like. Do you like the atmosphere? Is it clean and full of interesting things for your pet to do? Are the people friendly and helpful? If yes, enjoy your vacation without concern. If no, consider one of these other options.

* Pet sitter: These are popping up all over the place and can truly put you at ease. These professional pet sitters will come to your home multiple times each day, feed and walk your pet and give them some much-needed attention. If you make arrangements for it, they'll even bring in your mail and water the plants, making sure everything in the house is taken care of while you're gone.

The best advantage to hiring a pet sitter is being able to leave your pet in your home. Most animals don't handle change well, and not having to cart them somewhere can be a huge plus. Also, you know that you can check in on them and make sure everyone is doing OK. Sometimes having that peace of mind is all you need. And you don't have to impose on friends or neighbors to come over all the time, which can get old after a couple of days.

Before allowing anyone into your home, do some investigating into their reputation. Go online and read reviews of the business to see how previous customers would rate them. Check all their references and even go to the Better Business Bureau if you feel it necessary. Remember, this is your home and these are your pets.

* Friend or family in their home: If you know some really great people who would like to pet sit in their home, this may be a great vacation for everyone involved. Your pets can have a break from the normal routine and you know exactly where they are and who they're with. (That sounds like teenagers, doesn't it?)

This option is not for any animal that has separation anxiety or any antisocial behavior. If you pet is most comfortable staying at home in her own little world, consider other options.

On the other hand, out-going and fun-loving animals will love this road trip! Pack up their little overnight bag and bring plenty of food, toys and treats. Make a trial run sometime the week before you leave to make sure they're compatible with any other pets and people, then leave them to have fun.

All of these options are workable, but some are better for different kinds of pets. Please make some common sense choices before you leave your animals anywhere. Once you make that decision and hit the road yourself, check in as frequently as you want and enjoy your time away!


  1. Looks to me like they're intent on going with you ;-]

  2. They're intent on being wherever I am...from room to room, from inside to outside, from under one to chair to the next. It's like a little parade wherever I go.


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