If you are going out of town this Holiday season, are you going to take your dog with you, put them in a boarding kennel, hire a professional pet sitter, or allow a friend to take care of them? Here are some pros and cons for each option to consider:
Take Your Dog With You
Pro – Besides the benefit of spending the holiday with your best friend, you will also have the peace of mind knowing for certain that your dog will not be neglected and will be well taken care of.
Con – Airline flights can be expensive and may be severely limited in the winter due to the weather. Airlines may not fly pets if the temperature is too cold. If traveling by car, you will want to make sure you pet has a car safety device such as a pet car seat or dog seat belt. You will also want to consider how well your dog will travel in the car.
Pro – A quality boarding kennel can be a safe and comfortable place for your dog. Be sure to visit the kennel prior to making arrangements so that you can be sure of the quality of care.
Con – A quality boarding kennel can be expensive, especially if your vacation is a long one. Although a quality boarding kennel works diligently to keep the kennels clean, your dog can still be at risk for kennel cough. Your vet can give your dog a preventative for kennel cough, but it is not 100% effective. Your dog’s temperament may not like a boarding kennel. Boarding kennels can be loud and obtrusive. After a long vacation, you may find your dog has health issues due to stress.
Hire a Pet Sitter
Pro – Your dog is left in the comforts of their own home as a professional pet sitter comes by every now and then to take your dog for a walk, feed them, play with them, etc. If your dog tends to get stressed out in a kennel environment, a pet sitter is a great alternative.
Con – A professional pet sitting service can be expensive. Generally, you pay per visit and each visit is only a half hour to an hour long. For dogs who thrive on attention, leaving your dog at home alone can be an unhappy experience. After a long vacation, you may find your dog has health issues due to prolonged depression. Since visits are not frequent, a professional pet sitter may not notice if your dog is unwell or in need of medical care.
Enlist a Friend
Pro – Generally, your friend will not request as much money as a boarding kennel or professional dog sitter. They may even do it for free. If your dog knows and likes this friend, they might not even know that you are missing. For dogs prone to stress or depression, this is a great alternative to a boarding kennel or professional dog sitter. You will also be able to contact your friend regularly for updates. Contacting a boarding kennel or professional dog sitter can be like contacting your credit card company for a list of transactions – boring and without any personal connections.
Con – It may not be easy to find a trustworthy friend who isn’t also on vacation or who lives in dog friendly place. Or, as great as your friend may be, they may be a little more careless in the care of your pet, whereas a boarding kennel or professional dog sitter works hard to care for your pet for fear of losing their licence or getting sued.