September is around the corner and with that kicks off the back to school season and then you blink your eyes and you’re knee deep in the the busy holiday season. Whether you’re back to work full time in September or planning your holiday travel, here”s what – Everyone hits the road, or the skies, to visit their loved ones. Our pets are part of the family, so it makes obvious sense that you’d want to bring them along for your holiday adventures.
Traveling with pets can certainly be accomplished – but it requires a lot of crossing T’s and dotting I’s. If you ask us, there are tons of reasons you want to look into home pet care services rather then boarding. Here are just a few super key points:
#1 Traveling with pets is a lot of work (I mean DUH)
Packing for yourself and your family can take a lot out of you. Add having to pack crates, blankets, food, treats, toys, leashes, water and other pet-related items to the list and it can become overwhelming. Did you remember everything?
If you’re flying with your pet – it adds a whole other element to pre-trip planning. You have to book their airfare, get all their paperwork in order for verification purposes, find suitable travel accommodations, and in some instances sedate your pet.
Once you arrive at your destination – where will you be staying? If you can stay with relatives, have you found a hotel that’s pet friendly?
If you are choosing to board your dog, there is also a checklist that can equally become stressful: You need to make sure your dog has the proper vaccines the kennel requires (usually at the very least bordatella). If your dog is in training, they will likely be in their own “suite” that have access to a secure outdoor area – but can be confusing to your dog. Packing the appropriate amount of food, treats and meds and writing the instructions. You also do not get to meet everyone that will be caring for your dog.
While of course ALL of this is totally doable, using an in-home pet care service takes ALL of this planning off of your plate. The way we do it at Walkies, is we cover all of these bases during the registration meeting. You have 1 assigned sitter, fill out your paperwork once, and it goes into our secure database and we have ALL we need. Anything changes, you let us know. You have peace of mind that you have met your sitter AND saw them interact with your dog. Moving forward when you need service, you don’t need to WORRY about any of this as it’s ALL be done before. You and your assigned sitter and dog are already pals so YOU can just focus on getting ready for your trip.
#2 Dogs like being in their home environment
Dogs can often times be considered creatures of habit. They like to be in their regular environment with all the things that are familiar to them. Traveling with a pet can be stressful – not only for you but also for the pet. Boarding a pet can sometimes be worse.
Being in a facility without their “creature comforts” (you aren’t usually allowed to bring their beds or toys) and hearing other dogs barking can be scary and sometimes traumatizing. They get confused and sometimes bummed out. For dogs in training, boarding them can also regress their training as they thrive on consistency.
Being at home in the hands of a pet sitter, your dog will have all the comforts of home and their health needs met. They also will have consistency. Our sitters at Walkies ALWAYS take part in the training process with our clients. The sitters love it, the dogs thrive and our clients feel good about going away knowing their dog is comfortable in their cozy home. It’s a win-win-win situation!
#3 With the right pet care service or dog walker, you get the best of both worlds.
Leaving your pal with a pet sitter for the first time can be an uneasy feeling…trust me, I get it! Your brain starts asking a zillion questions… Will they take the proper care of your dog? Will they remember to give them the right medicines? Will they give enough cuddles, compliments and hugs?
With the right service, the answer to ALL of these is a resounding YES!*
As always make sure to schedule a meeting with the profesh services (Walkies’ are called “registration meetings”) in advance of your holiday trip so that the sitter and your pet(s) can get acquainted. Walk the sitter through your home so that they have a feel where everything is. Go over any medications, special tips about your pet or anything that might be valuable to your new sitter.
#4 Dog Walkers vs Doggie Daycare (not to get political but…)
Yes we are an in-home pet sitting and dog walking service BUT we stand behind our reasons! At the beginning, I thought about opening a doggie daycare rather than starting this and I did NOT (I mean obvi)…and here are a few reasons why:
In addition to consistency in training (both potty and commands) being impossible at a daycare, it was a giant safety issue. The reason Walkies doesn’t do pack walks is not only because I feel that every client is VIP and deserves to get our undivided attention BUT the other is that dogs can sometimes be jerks. They are cliquey. If 2 dogs get into an “argument” the rest of the group will chose ONE SIDE and then it’s the entire group on one dog.
I also do not back the idea of having toys and balls “shared” amongst a group of dogs not of the same household. Dogs can be rude, and there is ALWAYS one bossy punk that hoards everything…this is the beginning of what could be a riot.
I will admit that a day of partying and running around sounds like dog heaven, and while many do enjoy and do great at a daycare, for another reason, I also mentioned above, the care takers at a daycare aren’t always the same each day. It’s just my belief that the more consistency you can provide the better. This is just my opinion.
If you choose to send your dog to a daycare, be VERY sure to ask the following questions before joining:
- How is your staff trained and experienced to provide care for the dogs?
- Is their water intake monitored, and is there rest time (super important for dogs that bad bellies or breeds that are more susceptible to bloating) or quiet time?
- Can your staff recognize if dogs in their care aren’t feeling well?
- What’s the safety protocol if a dog fight ensues?
- What’s the protocol if my dog is in training?
- Are there separate areas for large and small breeds?
Again, this is just Walkies talk. There are plenty of amazing boarding facilities and daycares available, and we know that they are sometimes a better option. Our priority is the safety and happiness of ALL dogs and the peeps that love them.
If you are interested in service with Walkies PLEASE CLICK HERE