No matter how much you love your pet, there are times when you will need to be away from home, so who will care for your dog or cat while you're on vacation or can't be home with them? Our Cincinnati vets share advice on what to do with your cat or dog while you travel.
Going Away for Multiple Days
The question of where to leave your dog or cat while on vacation or away from home can be a difficult one to answer.
Whether you are heading off on vacation for a couple of weeks, or away on a business trip for a couple of days, you will need to find appropriate care for your animal companion. At Eastgate Animal Hospital our vets understand that deciding which kind of care is best for you and your pet can be challenging, but doing a little research into the options available near you, and knowing which features each service offers, can help to make the decision making process a little less stressful.
Dog & Cat Boarding For Vacation or Time Away from Home
While it's true that pet boarding facilities were once grim, dingy places where animals stayed locked in their cages for long periods of time, times have changed!
These days your dog or cat can be pampered and adored while you're away. Dogs can have fun socializing and playing with other pups and their caregivers while you're away. And cats can enjoy plenty of pats and cuddles (if they like interaction with people). Kennels for both dogs and cats are kept clean and fresh-smelling, and cat litter is changed regularly.
Today's animal boarding facilities range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for dogs and cats who require extra love and attention. As with the various levels of service, the price points for animal boarding services also range from affordable to extravagant.
If you are in the process of deciding which boarding facility your pet will stay at while you're away, be sure to check out a few different places in your area to find a facility that best suits the needs of your pet, and your wallet.
Price is generally a good indicator of the level of service provided at a given pet boarding facility. If your four-legged family member will be treated to luxurious hotel-like spaces with comfy sofas to lounge on and tv to watch, you're going to pay more than you would to board your pet at a standard facility with roomy crates, fenced runs for dogs, and comfy viewing areas for cats.
If you want your dog to enjoy an active adventure while you're traveling, a fun camp experience may be ideal. Dog camps across the country offer loads of time for your dog to explore outdoors, as well as added facilities in some cases for swimming and playing with other dogs.
Some of the fancier cat boarding facilities have luxuary cat-condos that come complete with cat specific furniture to lounge on and 'cat gyms' for climbing.
While you are narrowing down your list of preferred kennels it's important to keep in mind that extravagant facility features don't necessarily add up to better care for your pet.
Choosing The Level of Service That's Right for Your Dog or Cat
Pet care while for while you're on vacation will typically be priced based on the level of service you choose. Luxury accommodations will be far more expensive per day than a standard kennel.
Standard care for dogs at most pet boarding facilities includes:
- A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in
- Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs
- Breakfast served in the kennel
- Out of kennel playtime in the middle of the day to allow your pooch to burn some energy
- Dinner served in the kennel
- Evening bathroom break
Standard care for cats at most boarding facilities includes:
- A clean roomy kennel for your cat to sleep in
- Playtime with staff for cats who enjoy human interaction
- Meals served based on your instructions
- Frequent litter changes and bedding changes
Other services commonly available at pet boarding facilities:If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, many facilities also offer the following services:
- Specialized veterinary care
- Grooming services
- Shuttle services to and from the facility
The Pros & Cons of Boarding Your Pet While You're On Vacation
- Pros: Pet boarding provides your pet with a standardized daily routine that many dogs and cats crave including meal times, walks for dogs and social times on a regular schedule. Boarding also gives your dog an opportunity to socialize with other animals. If your pet has a medical issue that requires medications or treatments, facilities with onsite vets and a team of veterinary professionals may be ideal for your pet while you're away.
- Cons: Being away from home can be hard for some animals. Pets can become nervous or anxious in new environments which could lead to altercations with other animals at playtime. Pets in boarding facilities also face an increased risk of contracting contagious illnesses such as kennel cough in dogs or Feline Upper Respiratory Infection (colds) in cats.
Hiring a Pet Sitter
When interviewing for a pet sitter be sure to request a list of references as well as a list of qualifications. How much you will pay for a pet sitter will depend upon the level of service you choose for your animal companion.
Pet sitters can help to protect your home by keeping your place looking lived-in to any passers-by. Hiring a live-in pet sitter will allow you to rest assured that someone is caring for your home at night.
Extra Services Available From Some Pet Sitters:If your dog or cat requires more care than just feeding and being let out a few times a day, some pet sitters offer additional services such as:
- Dog training
- Pet bathing and grooming
- Frequent dog walks
The Pros & Cons of Hiring a Pet Sitter
- Pros: The primary benefit of hiring a pet sitter is that your four-legged friend may find it less stressful to stay at home. Other benefits of hiring a pet sitter include the increased security of having someone in your home, and pet sitters can be less expensive than some boarding facilities.
- Cons: Bringing a stranger into your home to care for your animal can be uncomfortable, and certainly isn't for everyone. You may also find that popular pet sitters in your area book up very quickly and may not be available when you need them, particularly at peak holiday times such as spring break.
Making the Right Choice of Kennel for Your Pet While You Are on Vacation
Pet parents often experience anxiety about leaving their animal while on vacation. Finding the right level of care for your pet ultimately comes down to personal preference, price and availability in your neighborhood. With a little research into the services available in your area, you will be able to find just the right solution for your fur baby, at a price you can afford.
Boarding Your Dog or Cat at Eastgate Animal Hospital
At Eastgate Animal Hospital we understand that it can be stressful to leave your pet - especially if they are ill, or when they are recovering from a procedure or surgery. Our goal is to put help put your mind at ease by providing your dog or cat with the care they need while you're away. We provide complete boarding services for pets including those animals who are healthy and those with medical conditions that requires treatments, medications and/or monitoring.
At our pet boarding facility, our friendly and experienced staff are here to provide the care your dog or cat needs while you are on vacation or away from home. We offer standard boarding for healthy pets who need a safe and friendly place to stay while you're away. Try to think of your pet's stay at a kennel as a vacation for them too. We will be sure to give your pet lots of love and attention to keep them feeling happy and contented.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.