No one looks after your pet quite like you do, however there are occasions when you need (or choose!) to go away and it’s not feasible that your pet join… Thankfully there are many amazing carers and facilities that provide your pet comfort and affection allowing you piece of mind to enjoy this time.

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Dedicated ‘luxury’ Pet Hotels, with your pet as the esteemed guest, are an on-trend option but there are barriers with respect to location (given they seem to be metro only) and budget so we are going to review the two most widely available and accessible options – boarding kennels and pet sitters.

Benefits of a pet sitter

  • Your pet gets to stay in the comfort of their own home
  • You don’t have to stress about them escaping as the environment is familiar
  • Your pet will receive love and one on one attention like they would if you were there
  • No worry about your pet being with other animals or in a stark environment (comparatively)

Benefits of a kennel

  • Reputable kennels have lots of space and playtime plus loving staff
  • Other animals to play with (if your pet enjoys socialising)
  • Don’t have the stress about someone being in your home with your belongings

Dogs can’t be left alone overnight however cats may be fine to be left with fresh food and water so in weighing up the right option for your fur baby, this will firstly depend on what type of pet you have and how long you will be going away for.

Research suggests that dogs miss their hoomans when staying in kennels however, they no doubt miss their hoomans in the usual environment with a pet sitter too given the routine is different. That being said, it is not realistic to think that you can’t and won’t ever leave your dog to go away so it’s nothing to feel guilty about!

What is important, is that before you make a final decision as to what care to choose for your cat or dog, you do your research. Word of mouth can be the most powerful tool here to ensure that the sitter or kennel is trusted. However, if you haven’t been provided any recommendations, with respect to looking at suitable kennels, location aside, look in to:

  • Whether they offer a free ‘Meet & Greet’
  • Their insurance policy
  • Reviews
  • Their vaccination policy (you want to know that all the animals are up to date just as yours is!)

pet_sittingWhen it comes to a sitter; it is best to:

  • Ring their referees (if local perhaps even arrange to meet them at the dog park)
  • Have them over for an interview/meet your pet to observe interactions
  • Ensure that you are on the same page as to whether it will be house/pet sitting or visiting the house to feed/spend time with your pet only.

Regardless of what you decided to do when you go away, dogs don’t have the same concept to time as humans – whether you are gone for an hour or a few days, your dog will greet you enthusiastically on your return! Your cat however, may be a little more stand off-ish, but that is only because they are more sensitive to change. They will be purring on your lap again before you know it!

~ Dr Lachlan Campbell