Planning a trip soon? The most important part of your travel plans is being certain you have the best pet sitting or boarding situation possible set up and confirmed for your beloveds.
You know how your companions know when you're preparing for a trip. Most of them worry about you and want to know who will be caring for them where when you're away. How do you take care of their physical and emotional needs while you're away? How can you feel confident and assured your furries are in great hands? Here are my tips and guidelines.
Do an animal communication session and find out what your furries need!
What pet sitters have they liked, not liked?
Stay home or go somewhere else?
What remedies, calming supplements, treats would they like or need?
Be sure they understand where you're going and for how long.
And finally, what's the special meditation that comforts them and you when you're traveling and lets them know when you'll be home?
Set up a vetted boarding place well in advance.
Visit the facility before you ask your companion to go there.
Check for cleanliness indoors and out.
How does the place feel to you? First impressions are usually accurate.
Is the staff warm and friendly?
Do they interact well with dogs/cats there?
Do they ask about your companion, her food, favorite activities, comfort levels interacting with people and other animals?
What are their credentials, awards?
How long have they been in business?
Will they send you videos/photos of your animals daily?
Know Your Pet Sitter
Always meet and get referrals for a new petsitter. Are they bonded/insured?
Have your petsitter come and visit with your animals ahead of time.
Introduce each animal to your pet sitter. How do your animals respond to them? Observe their response. If they're shy, as cats often are, how do you feel he feels about this person?
Have them go for a walk with you and your dog so he gets to experience them and they him when out and about. (Introduce them to any neighbors you see as well)
Show your petsitter where extra food and litterbox supplies are.
Show them favorite places companions hang out or hide in.
Show them where travel crates are for emergencies.
Listen to and feel how the petsitter is in your house and with your furries. Are they warm and gently connecting? Do they have a clear affinity with animals? Are they respectful of your space (shoes off at the door where yours are, asking where to put their things. If staying overnight, what dishes, towels etc. to use...)
Help Them Do Great
1) Always write up instructions for feeding, walking, litterbox cleaning and go over these with the petsitter in person. I demonstrate how I prepare my cats' raw food and supplements so the pet sitter isn't intimidated. I show where to put the bowls and where to give treats. This keeps the routine in place for my fur kids. I show them where the toys are and which interactive toys Bodhi and Flora are enjoying now. (Currently the purple hood string from my old sweatshirt...)
2) Always leave phone numbers: yours, a neighbor's, vet's, emergency clinic.
3) Always have and show your pet sitter your emergency plan, supplies, and carriers in case. (I learned this the hard way when I didn't during the flood of 2013 in CO)
3) Ask for daily texts and photos so you can see how your furries are doing.
4) And, after you return to happy animals and a clean kitchen, litterbox and yard, be sure to write a review for your petsitter.
With forethought, planning and preparation, your animals will be safe and happy, and you'll be able to relax and enjoy your vacation knowing all is well.
with Love, Your Voice of Animals,