Friday, March 18, 2011

Dog Boarding Kennel Or Pet Sitter - Which is Best?

When vacation time is upon us and families are looking to spend some time away from home, taking the family dog is not always possible. Will you choose a pet sitter or a dog boarding kennel?

A responsible decision has to be made for the care of your pet in your absence. If you do not have a trusted friend or family member to act as guardian, you have two other options that each have both pros and cons attached.

It is important to take your dog's personality into account and how it's likely to react to certain situations. Many dogs will become stressed in your absence and being at a kennel much more than they would in your absence and staying in their own familiar environment, where familiar scents, their dog crate, comfort zone or bed is. Would you be able to depend on the boarding kennel feeding your dog the food it's accustomed to? Dogs that are fed different food from their usual diet may experience upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea, conditions that can be compounded and made worse with the addition of "stress".

Many dogs confined in a small area coupled with the stress of boarding can induce a viral infection in some dogs such as kennel cough, a similar situation to having too many children in close quarters passing around a common "cold". Proper sanitation is critical for preventing the spread of contagious diseases. Cages and kennel runs should look and smell clean, and the other animals currently being boarded should be clean and appear well cared for.

In case your dog becomes ill, how will it be addressed? Is there a veterinarian on call for treatment, or will your regular veterinarian be contacted. Be sure this is discussed with the kennel owner.

An animal hospital is not the best place to board your pet while on vacation for the simple reason that you increase the possibility of your dog coming in contact with other dogs' illnesses that might transfer. If you are opting for the convenience of a dog boarding kennel, be sure to find a facility that you trust and, even better, that others have expressed trust in.

The most important things to look for in a boarding situation are general safety, and friendliness and competence of the staff. Not all boarding kennels are "great". Some facilities do not give the dogs the play and attention you would desire for your pet. Extra amenities and attention in the way of treats, walks and play time can be optional "add-ons" to your base fee, so you need to consider these factors for cost analysis and your dog's comfort, which is of primary importance.

Finding a boarding kennel with a good reputation is critical when entrusting the care of your pet to temporary guardians. Hopefully, you have gotten references and you can be confident that your dog is being monitored in a trustworthy establishment by professionals who understand their responsibility. The boarding kennel option removes any concern over having people you don't know in your home.

The concern over strangers entering your home can be alleviated by doing a little advanced preparation and seeking the recommendation of reliable people and checking of references.

The pet sitting situation has positive aspects by offering you the advantage of someone checking your house, taking in mail and making your home look occupied with normal activity. If you desire a higher level of service, you can often find someone who is willing to stay at your home while you are away. This gives your pet companion the added advantage of plenty of attention with the least possible stress.

Office and technical staff at veterinary clinics make good candidates for pet sitting responsibilities or they can often offer you reliable referrals. They or those they might refer are "animal people" and are able to properly handle medical problems should they arise.

Whether you choose a boarding kennel or pet sitter (the better choice, in our opinion, is a pet sitter), make sure you give clear instructions on what food your dog should be fed and any required medications. Whoever is left in charge of your companion should walk and play with the dog several times a day. Give clear directions on what you expect with regard to play time and interaction. Be sure you provide good contact information in the case of an emergency.

We have existed as a company since 1985, but it was a love of dogs, the dogs that have been a part of our life, and the passing of one dog in particular, Rusty, that inspired the creation of and -- created to provide the things your dogs and pets need. Visit us for great information and quality dog supplies! Be sure to see our About Us page as well.

The two sites are dedicated to the dogs we have loved so deeply, and who have given us so much love in return. Purebreds and mixed breeds, but mostly rescues in need of a home. We educated them, but each one has had something to teach us in exchange.


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