It amazes me how our society has changed with so many options for our daily living! Day care for both our two legged children as well as for our four legged children. I am just amazed that someone hasn’t thought about combining the two into a one stop shop. Drop your children off at one window and your pets at another. Hmmmm….someone will entertain that idea before too much longer!
Pet owners view pet care differently so I thought I would give you some food for thought. When weighing your options keep these points in mind:
- What is important to you for your pet?
- Having “friends” to play with or human companionship?
- Does cost play a role in the decision or money is last on the list?
- Would your pet be more comfortable at home or are they very easily pleased?
- Do your pets have a particular routine everyday that would affect their behavior if is disrupted?
Whatever your preferences are, you need to do your homework. If you want to go with a pet resort ask the following questions:
- Do they require all pets to have up to date shot records?
- Are the smaller dogs separated from the larger ones?
- How much time do pets get out of confinement?
- Does the price include food? (believe it or not, some do not)
- Is the lodging a separate price from the day care? (could make a big difference in cost!)
- What is the ratio of pet to humans?
- Are their hours convenient for your drop off and pick up?
- Ask for references and if they have had any lost pets or complaints (You can always hope for honesty!)
- Check out references AND Better Business Bureau.
A resort may not suit your pet needs. Say you have a cat or dog that is an animal snob (thinks they are more human than their like kind.) This can be a huge social issue when it comes to boarding. Some resorts have gone to the “open” policy where pets have free reign in a confined area. Maybe you have an older pet that would benefit from a more personal type of care. Pet Sitters have become very popular and seems to be a better fit for some.
What to ask if you choose a Pet Sitter:
- How much experience do they have with your breed of animal?
- Do they have references?
- Are they bonded or insured?
- Are you comfortable with having someone come into your home?
- What will be the routine for your pet when they come for a visit?
- Get prices up front and in writing!
- How much time will they spend with your pet on a single visit?
The flexibility you have with a Pet Sitter is that you can specify how many times you want a visit, the visit will include watering plants and/or mail pickup, etc. You are in control of the services you want for your pet. Be sure to check references! Pet Sitters should have contracts, information forms for each pet as well as emergency information forms.
Whatever decision you make for your pet care whether it is for daily care or just occasional care, go by your pets reaction when you visit the resort OR when the Pet Sitter comes for the initial interview. Animals have that sixth sense when it comes to judging character of humans. The only difference between our gut feeling and their sixth sense is the animal will show their discomfort in a situation.
Paws and Claws Pet Services
North Chesterfield, Virginia