Dog with leash in its mouth.

Pets are part of the family, and it’s hard to leave them behind during holiday travels—or any time of the year for that matter. The decision to leave your pet in a boarding facility or in the hands of a pet sitter shouldn’t be taken lightly. Our team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital has put together some tips to help you make an informed choice.

Boarding/Kennel Facilities

Boarding facilities provide peace of mind knowing that your pet is in a safe, secure environment where they’re being monitored, fed, and cared for by trained professionals. Some pet boarding facilities offer convenient add-ons, like grooming services and vaccine/wellness care updates. Also, the staff at a qualified boarding facility will be experienced in the administration of daily medications your pet needs. 

When considering a boarding facility, look for the following:

  • Separate areas for cats
  • Access to veterinary care
  • Large enough kennel/room so your pet can move freely
  • Opportunities for socialization and exercise
  • Clean living conditions
  • Plenty of natural light
  • Climate controlled lodging
  • Non-slip flooring
  • High-quality ventilation
  • Strict vaccine, de-worming, and parasite prevention requirements
  • A plan for medical emergencies

Pet Sitters

Professional pet sitters come to your house to take care of your pet. Most pet sitters offer the option to visit your pet multiple times a day, and some even provide overnight pet/house sitting services. Pet owners often choose a pet sitter/dog walker to come to their home so that their pets can remain in familiar surroundings.

Questions to consider when evaluating a pet sitter:

  • What is their previous pet sitting experience? 
  • Can they provide references/testimonials?
  • Are they willing to schedule a meet-and-greet ahead of time?
  • How much time will they spend with your pet during each visit?
  • Are they insured?
  • Have they ever had to handle an emergency situation with a pet?
  • Is the pet sitter asking questions (and writing down your preferences) and showing a genuine interest in your pet’s wellbeing?
  • Does the pet sitter seem calm and compassionate?
  • Will they provide daily updates or welcome your calls?
  • Can they administer medications if needed?

Other Tips for a Successful Fit

Whether you select a quality boarding facility or hire a trusted pet sitter, it’s important to choose the option that will best accommodate your pet’s needs. 

Here are some other tips from our team:

  • Do a test run: Schedule a short stay at your chosen kennel or with your pet sitter before the big trip. 
  • Make your instructions/expectations clear.
  • Be truthful about your pet’s demeanor and bad habits.
  • Have a backup plan: What if you’re gone an extra day and the pet sitter can’t stay? 

If you’re planning time away, we hope you will consider the boarding facility at Blue Valley Animal Hospital. We genuinely love taking care of your pets, and we’re happy to answer your questions about our accommodations. Contact us at (913) 681-2818.