Pet owners who want to go on vacation have three options. They can hire a professional pet sitter (boarding at home), they can board their pets at a boarding facility, or they can try to take their pets with them.
And while we freely admit that we’re biased, we can provide 7 very good, very logical reasons why hiring a professional pet sitter is the way to go.
1. Cats and dogs are both territorial animals.
Cats and dogs mark out and maintain a territory by nature. They guard that territory, and they’re happiest and most comfortable when they’re inside of it.
When you’re dealing with a domesticated area that territory is your home. Dogs and cats don’t know that they’ll be back in a week or so. When you remove them from the environment they can get very stressed out. The smells and sounds and sights aren’t familiar, and nothing is “theirs.”
2. “Pet-friendly” travel is challenging.
Many hotels are pet-friendly, and that’s great! However, you’re still going to have to pay extra for the privilege.
In addition, if you’re traveling by car then eating can become a real challenge. Restaurants usually don’t appreciate it when you bring your dog or cat inside, and you can’t leave your pet in the car safely.
Of course, there are certainly ways for experienced travelers to get around these problems. But your vacation can be a lot more cost-effective and relaxing if you don’t have to.
3. Car travel and airline travel are generally uncomfortable for pets.
Think about how boring and uncomfortable it is for you to sit in one spot for hours and hours. Think about how airplane legroom seems to diminish in 30 minutes.
You have the anticipation of fun at the end of your journey to carry you through this time.
Your pet, by contrast, is sitting in his or her little crate. Your pet has no idea what’s going on. Your pet only knows that he’s being confined for hours and hours. If your cat can’t stand to get in the car for a 20 minute ride to the vet then a 20 hour road trip isn’t going to make him happy either.
4. Boarding is uncomfortable and frightening.
Boarding a pet outside of the home isn’t an ideal solution either. Now you’re removing your pet from his territory and turning him over to the care of strangers.
Your pet has know way of knowing that you’re not just giving him away!
Even if the boarding facility is very, very nice your pet is still going to be confused and upset by the change. There’s also the issue of cost…the facility is going to charge you for each dog or cat, which means it can become a financial nightmare for the owners of multiple pets.
5. Boarding means exposing your pet to illness.
A doggy daycare is a lot like a child’s daycare. There are dozens of dogs there, and germs spread. Not all pet owners are conscientious about keeping their furry friends at home when they’re sick, and some just don’t realize anything’s wrong.
Keeping your pet at home means that you control exposure, which means having a healthier, happier pet upon your return.
6. Pet sitters make your home more secure.
A pet sitter comes in at least once a day. Pet sitters will pick up the mail and your paper if you ask them to. They’re checking in.
That means that your house looks inhabited, and it’s much less likely to become a target for burglars.
7. You can stop annoying friends, family members, and neighbors.
You might be sold on the benefits of keeping your pet at home…but don’t call your best friend to do the job for you. She’s got her own life to live, and unless you two have some sort of mutual pet sitting agreement it’s usually secretly pretty annoying to be asked to watch your pets for your annual vacation.
In addition, your family, friends, and neighbors aren’t pet experts. They don’t necessarily want to be responsible for giving your pets their medicines, for example. It’s just something to think about.
Sold on all of the benefits of using a professional pet sitter? If you live in the Washington, DC area, then call us! We’ll be glad to schedule your service just in time for your summer vacation.