In-Home Pet Sitting or Boarding Facility?
If we throw our dog into a situation that is not right for him, he (and we) may not like the outcome. Having a negative experience while you (his familiar and loving doggy parent) are not there to help him can result in accumulated stress and long-term negative associations to other dogs, people, novel environments, noises, etc. Staying in a kennel environment with a bunch of other dogs is fine for some dogs. It can be uncomfortable, overwhelming or terrifying for others. Each dog is an individual, processes emotion differently, and has different likes/dislikes.
Think of YOUR dog’s personality and preferences – what would HE feel most comfortable with?
Now how do you choose the RIGHT one?
There are a plethora of pet-sitters and boarding facilities out there, but they are not all created equal. You love your dog, right? So you want to give him the best experience and make sure he is in capable, caring hands while you are away. Here’s a checklist of some things to consider when selecting an in-home pet sitter or boarding facility, along with some of the ones I am happy to refer clients to:
In-Home Pet Sitter:
If you have multiple animals, having an in-home sitter can save you money from having to incur separate boarding/daycare costs for each animal, as many in-home sitters have only one fee regardless of how many animals you have. For more sensitive animals, like young pups or the elderly whose immune systems may be more susceptible to infection, having an in-home sitter means your pet’s risk will be much more reduced. They will not be exposed to foreign animals and they will be less stressed staying in their own environment.
Knowing friends or family members who have used a particular pet sitter and have had a positive experience, rather than picking the most convenient one from an online search engine, can make all the difference between any run-of-the-mill pet sitter and the quality sitter who is really going to love your fur-babies and keep them safe for you while you aren’t home.
A Loving Heart Pet Care has been serving the Pooler and surrounding community areas for over 5 years. Betsy got her start working in the field of pet-sitting with Cat Nip and Biscuits owner Cathi Denham (see below), before starting her own business. You can learn more about Betsy and read some testimonials from other happy clients on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/A-Loving-Heart-Pet-CareLLC.
Owner Cathi Denham says she opened Catnip N Biscuits because she wanted a place that was trustworthy, with a caring and attentive staff, to care for Savannah’s cats and dogs while their parents were away. After seeing some other boarding kennels that were in great need of updating, she made it her mission to ensure that her facility had modern amenities – like televisions in each of the dog suites, cat suites that contain separate compartments for litter boxes, outside dog exercise areas with artificial turf for easy disinfecting and playground equipment for enrichment, and indoor dog exercise areas with rubber flooring (which is easier on joints during play).
Unlike some other boarding or daycare facilities, the staff at Catnip N Biscuits will be willing to work with a dog who does better in small group play than large group play, or even a dog that requires private boarding (in which the dog would receive personalized play sessions and outings with staff several times a day rather than group play). Before accepting a dog into boarding or daycare, the potential client must fill out a thorough application. Once that is complete and vet records are received, the staff will then meet with you and your dog to get to know your dog and go over options. The staff will then take your dog for a socialization evaluation as I described above, where he will get to meet some other dogs and they can determine his comfort level.
Rates and package options for both daycare and boarding at Catnip N Biscuits can be found on their website at www.catnipnbiscuits.com. In addition to managing Catnip N Biscuits, Cathi has also been offering at home pet-sitting services since 2000 through her At Home Pet Sitters business (find out more at www.athomepetsitters.net). She takes great pride in caring for pets of all ages!
No matter where you choose to have your pet spend this holiday, you can feel comforted knowing there are some great options out there to give your pet the love and care he deserves. If you visit any of my friends above, just tell them that Maria sent you! And don't worry about your fur-babies... Sometimes taking separate vacations can have its advantages after all! :)
Maria Huntoon, CBCC-KA