Checkout Lane: Choosing the best pet care option
Holiday travel can be stressful, especially when you have to decide what to do with your pets while you’re away.
Choosing to leave your pet with a sitter or to board it for an extended stay depends on its age and temperament.
Puppies, for example, require at least four visits a day, while older dogs will be fine with fewer visits, said Lisa Brennan, owner of South Shore Pet Nannies in Hingham, Mass.
“When dogs are past their puppy-hood, they prefer to be at home,” Brennan said. “A lot of them don’t want to be in a kennel, even if it’s cageless.”
Cats, on the other hand, can be left to their litter box in the comfort of their home for as many as three days before a pet sitter visit, she said.
However, if you’re gone for more than a week, Brennan suggests boarding your pets.
Her rate is $20 per half-hour visit.
Steve Fruzzetti, owner of Bristol’s Fun Dogs, can care for two dogs at a time in his home in Milton, Mass.
“I found that most dogs do well with it,” said Fruzzetti, who has two dogs of his own. “They go with me all the time when I do my regular walks and they’re around a human being 24-7.”
His daily prices range from $20 to $60 per dog.
If you or your pet has separation anxiety, the Secret Garden Pet Grooming Salon and Pet Resort in East Bridgewater, Mass., offers Web-cam monitoring for owners,a large outdoor play area and individual, caged kennels for nights.
“Dogs are pack animals and when they are separated from their family they do suffer a little bit,” said owner Cristina Crowley. “We try to minimize this kind of stress.”
Boarding at the Secret Garden ranges from $18 to $30 per day for dogs.
And don’t worry if your pet isn’t a dog or a cat. Brennan and Crowley have also cared for other animals, including birds, rabbits, turtles, pigs and even lizards.
Contact Sara Castellanos email@example.com.
Tips for leaving your pets
Plan ahead: Determine how long you will leave your pet and plan accordingly. Pet sitters and kennels tend to be in high demand during the holidays. Check the reputation and environment of any unfamiliar pet sitter or kennel.
Meet and greet: Whether you hire a professional pet sitter, have a neighbor help out, or leave your pet at the kennel, arrange a meet-and-greet in advance. Make sure the pet has a pleasant first experience with the person and the environment before leaving them alone with strangers.
Make a list: Be sure to provide the kennel or pet sitter a detailed contact list with phone numbers in the event of an emergency. Also include instructions for medications.
Stock familiar toys: Make sure pets have a few of their favorite toys, a special treat or other familiar items.