Travelling – without your fur babies?!

January 21, 2016 | By: Judith

Travelling is a must for me during the month of January, especially living in Canada.

Brrr.. But deciding on what to do with my furry baby is so difficult. Ideally I would smuggle them wherever I go. But I don’t want a repeat of the 2010 scandal. ☺ So, I can either leave them with a sitter, board them at a kennel, board them at a friend’s home and of course in our area the local Vet offers boarding as well.

What to do… What to do…

Vet is out of the equation - and this is purely for personal reasons. I know how I would feel if I spent a week at my doctor’s office. 5-year-old magazines? Sick people coming and going? The air freshened with disinfectant? No, thank you! Not for me- not for my fur baby!

Kennels and doggy spas - sounds like a good idea. But my baby is more human than animal (this was told to me very firmly by the trainer) and I don’t think that my poor Coton de Tulear would survive well in the pack order or the regime that is needed to run a kennel or doggy spa. Although, between you and me some of these kennels look absolutely amazing, like 5 star hotels that I could never afford anyhow.

Can’t my poor baby just stay at home with someone there to fill my place for the week? Imagine any stress that is caused by my absence can be lessened, routines stay familiar, environment is safe and comfortable, and best of all they can go for walks where the fire hydrants and grass is all familiar.

If you are anything like me then you feel that the best option is a sitter. Here are some of my best tips I’ve found:

  • If you don’t have someone in mind, try asking your veterinarian for a suggestion.
  • Do your research and look up reviews of companies and certified pet sitting associations that provide sitters.
  • Word of mouth! You know those furry friends at the dog park? Ask their humans for suggestions.
  • No matter what type of pet you have; (hamster, cat, dog, monkey, pig, or dragon…) It is important to find a sitter that specializes in taking care of your type of pet.
  • Ask this important question. What will happen if the pet sitter becomes ill or has car trouble. Do they have a back up?
  • If you have found someone and you need more validation, ask for references. Your pet sitter will have a list of regular clients that will vouch for them.
  • Meet the sitter before hand to have a one of one interview and watch how they interact with your pet.
  • Try to choose someone who can help balance and calm your fur baby if they are feeling anxious and stressed with you gone.
  • Select someone who is experienced and resourceful enough to take care of your furry baby as well as you would.
  • IMPORTANT note- If you have an older pet or one with special needs- the potential sitter should be comfortable with documenting medication, feeding and other health related cycles.

Once you have made up our mind to follow through with either a sitter that watches your fur babies, what are your responsibilities?

Ensure that you have all important tags affixed to the collar, including identification.

Leave all the vet information, emergency contacts and current vaccinations sheets – Don’t forget to have your sitter’s information as you can always keep communicating wherever you are in the world. Plus, having them send you pictures just make everything feel OKAY!

Food and snacks are important to anyone and our little or large furry babies need the right nutrition, and a little extra in case you are late. Of course I will always encourage you to leave Holistic blend food and snacks, the best for my baby.

Leave an extra key with a friend or a neighbour, just in case. This is one my rules that I have never had to use, but doing this makes me feel so much more relaxed.

Show your pet sitter the space, include the circuit breaker in the tour. Fully prepared is the key to having a great vacation.