CROMWELL, Conn. — Unable to take your pet on the family vacation? It's okay, you're not alone. Many consumers turn to a pet boarding service or pet sitter to take care of their furry friend while they're soaking up the sun or exploring a new destination.
However, finding a reliable pet sitter or boarding facility can be very time consuming, stressful or even expensive for some pet owners who travel often.
You first have to think about what type of care your pet will need before moving forward with your search. Will they be okay with someone stopping by your home twice a day? Do they need medication? Will they need a lot of exercise or would they be okay snoozing most of the day? These are all things to keep in mind before heading out the door and leaving your pet behind.
BBB Serving Connecticut offers the following tips on how you and your pet can both rest easy during your next vacation.
Figure out what will work best. Decide if your pet is going to feel best at home or around other pets. Do you know anyone who will be available to stop by your home multiple times per day?
Research. Ask for references from friends who also have pets or have used a pet boarding service in the past. You can also check BBB.org/ct to read reviews and help you find a trustworthy dog boarding service.
Make a budget. Know how much you are willing to spend. Pet boarding services can vary in cost depending on the amenities offered. Are there 24/7 cameras where you can view your pet? Will your pet be bathed or have outdoor playtime? Figure out what amenities are important to you and your pet and review pricing information before signing on the spotted line.
Tour the facility. Visit the facility you have chosen for your pet and check for cleanliness. How are the pets housed? Is there an outdoor space? Will your pet get much human interaction? If you have chosen to go with a pet sitter have them visit your home and acquaint them with your pet and go over procedures plus how to access your home.
Understand the requirements. Most pet boarding facilities make sure all pets are up-to-date with certain vaccinations according to state regulations. They may also want to inspect your pet to make sure they do not have fleas, ticks, etc. before accepting them.
Get it in writing. Make sure you review the contract, pricing information and liability statement from the boarding service so you are not surprised by any last minute charges. Make sure the business is fully insured in case something would happen to your pet. If you have a sitter coming to your home, provide a written sheet of procedures, directions or duties while your pet will be in their care.
Pack for you and your pet. Before leaving for your trip, make sure you are also packing for your pet too! See if the facility allows you to bring some of your pet's favorite toys, treats or a blanket so the dog can feel more at home. If you are having a sitter visit your home, make sure you have enough food, treats or medication for the duration of your trip.