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Pet Sitters Week

Make sure your pet sitter has a good rapport with your furry friend!
Gamma Man (Elijah J Christman)
Make sure your pet sitter has a good rapport with your furry friend!

So, you’re going away for a Spring vacation, but during the pandemic you adopted a pet.  What can you do with your furry friend while you’re away?

     One option is to board your pet, either at your veterinarian’s office or at a boarding kennel.  At the vet’s office, you expect your best friend to get expert care – after all, there’s a pet doctor on staff!  But most veterinary offices will be busy taking care of patients, so your pet may not get much extra attention.  Plus, many pets find veterinary offices to be scary places.

     There are boarding facilities that don’t do anything but house and care for pets when their owners are away.  Some offer personalized care and even play time each day.  Before you board your pet, check out the facilities to see if they are clean and ask questions about the amount of time devoted to caring for any one pet.

     One option I especially like is finding a pet sitter.  Some pet sitters will come by your home to check on your pet, feed it, let it out if needed, and make sure it’s okay.  You can specify how many times each day you want the sitter to visit.  Some will even water your plants and bring in your mail.  Another option is finding a pet sitter who will stay in your home while you are gone.  Not only will your furry friend have company, your house will be safer with someone actually on the premises.

     Before hiring any pet sitter, check out their credentials.  Were they recommended by one of their clients?  You may want to ask if they have any certifications.  Both the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International offer courses and certificates to individuals who successfully complete their training programs.

     I am fortunate to have a dear friend who will check on my cats whenever I am away for a few days, and I do the same for her.  I can rest easy knowing my best friends are safe in her hands, when I’m speaking of pets.

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.