Here are a 5 reasons to consider a pet sitter, even when your boarding facility is great:
- You find yourself traveling out of the way before hitting the road. Our facility was in a country setting, about 45 minutes north of us and we were usually heading south for vacation. The facility offered a shuttle option which we tried, but I prefer to see my dogs off at the facility and the journey on a shuttle bus with other confused and stressed out pooches is another stressor for my dogs and one more thing I have to worry about. Did my dogs arrive safely or was the shuttle involved in an accident?
- If Your dog often comes home sick. The best and cleanest facility cannot ensure your dog won't come home with kennel cough or dog flu. You can vaccinate and every dog in the facility can be vaccinated, but there are many causes of kennel cough. The vaccine offers protection against the bacterium, Bordatella bronchiseptica, but a couple of viruses also cause the same symptoms. A recovered dog can remain contagious for months by shedding the Bordatella organism (if that is the culprit). When my dogs were pups, they came home from a boarding facility with kennel cough after being vaccinated two weeks prior to boarding. In the young, old and immune compromised, kennel cough can lead to pneumonia and be fatal. Dog flu is another concern for boarding facilities and dog parks. In states with confirmed cases, it is recommended to skip trips to dog parks and other places where dogs congregate.
- Your dog comes home hoarse. Your dog has a hoarseness to his bark or no bark at all. This is typically a sign that your dog has been barking his head off in a run and that means his stay was stressful for him.
- Your dog gets diarrhea during his stay. This happened to one of my dogs and the facility contacted me promptly and had him treated at no charge. That was wonderful but the fact remains that my boy was still stressed. Since I always pack his food to go with him, I know it wasn't a diet change that caused the diarrhea.
- You have to cut your last day of vacation short to get home in time for pick up at the kennel. On our last vacation, we made an impromptu decision to squeeze in another day on the beach instead of leaving in the morning as planned. Had my dogs been in a boarding facility, they would've had to stay another night and not been able to greet us when we arrived home. I would've also incurred another night's worth of charges. Instead we knew our sitter was coming through the dinner hour and that we would be home late but by bedtime. We did not need to schedule another visit or pay extra.