Vacation – How to choose a Professional Pet Care Service

It’s holiday time and for so many of us this means leaving the pets at home while we take off and explore interesting places. It is very easy at this time of the year with all that is going on to forget the essentials that need to be considered when it comes to the provision of good vacation care for your pet. Each situation and each pet has different needs. How many pets do you have, are they indoor or outdoor pets, what is their normal routine, how old they are, how often are they left alone. All these factors need to be considered when it comes to deciding what the most appropriate care for them is going to be while you are away.

Home Care:

Traditionally the kid next door could be relied on to feed the animals while you are on holiday but sadly that no longer seems the best option. Often pet owners comment that they did not get the service they expected or they really wanted more done for their pets but did not want to ask. The choice of a professional pet carer means that you should get the type of service you require at the frequency you require it, generally for a reasonable cost.

The types of services you can expect to receive include:

• Feeding, watering and exercising of your pet/s once or twice a day

• Daily brushing of dogs and cats

• Daily check of the general health of your animals, including searching for and removal of ticks

• Cleaning of kitty litter and yards

• Mail collection

• Watering of pot plants and gardens

• Maintenance of property security including lights turned on and off

• Rubbish bins placed out and collected

• Text messages at frequent intervals

• Full insurance cover

• References

• 24 hour phone contact details

• First consultation before you leave on holidays is free

The types of situations that are best suited to home care include:

• Older animals

• Animals that do not do well in boarding kennels

• Cats that need to be let out during the day and locked in at night

• Elderly cats

• Households with multiple animals, especially those on rural residential properties

Boarding Kennels

Boarding Kennels can in a variety of makes and models ranging from smaller older boutique style businesses through to state of the art air-conditioned, piped music, mega establishments that house many hundreds of dogs. In fact an increasing trend in the United States is for high rise multi-level boarding kennels in large air-craft hanger sized buildings. The size of the building and the number of dogs or cats housed is not the most important issue when it comes to selecting a good boarding kennels. Bigger is not always better.

When choosing a kennel for your dog or cat it is important to consider the following issues:

• How clean the establishment is – it is never ok to be told “we have not cleaned yet today”

• How well trained in animal care and first aid all the staff are

• What supervision of junior staff is in place

• Are staff present in close proximity to the kennel/cattery complex 24 hours a day

• Is a vet on call?

• What knowledge of canine behaviour have senior staff obtained that will enable them to assess if a dog is stressed or not.

• Will your dog ever be in contact with another dog in either their kennel or outside exercise areas?

• What worming, vaccination and parasite control measures are required for each pet?

• What is the surrounding environment like with regard to noise and pollution?

• What measures are in place for you to contact them and vice versa?

• Can your dog have its favourite toy, blanket or bed?

• What feeding regimen is in place – this is particularly important for dogs with sensitive stomaches or allergy issues.

It is advisable that you chose the kennel you wish to use prior to your holidays. Book your dog or cat in for an overnight stay at a time when the business is not that busy. Assess what state you dog or cat comes home in, did they willingly go away from you when you left them there, did they come back looking happy, healthy and settled or did they come home smelly, full of fleas and clearly distressed and upset. Did you feel comfortable with how the staff handled your pet on delivery and pick up. It is never good if the staff dragged off your dog while making sure you were escorted fast off the premise. If staff come out and do not greet your dog or cat kindly in an appropriate manner then find another kennel to use.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a good kennel, ask friends, family, your groomer, vets and the local pet shop what they recommend. You will soon find out which local kennel gets the best recommendations.

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Posted on December 14, 2010, in Pet Care Businesses, Pet Guardians and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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