Time for a Vacation – What about the dog? 6 Reasons to Hire a Petsitter

We would all love to take our dogs on holidays with us, some people do but if we want to go a  little further away sometimes it’s better to leave fido at home. So then the big decision is ‘What about the dog?’

I meet a lot of dog owners in my line of work and many of them tell me they haven’t taken a holiday since they got a dog. Usually when asked why they reply with ‘ we couldn’t put him/ her in kennels!’ or ‘we tried kennels once, never again’. It seems guilt is a big factor in leaving the dog behind and then to have to leave them in a big concrete building away from all their creature comforts is more than most owners can bear.

Most modern boarding kennels are heated, are comfortable and dogs get their daily walks and attention but if kennels aren’t your thing then there are plenty of other options. There are Home Boarding which is someone who will look after your dog in their home, you will probably still have to show your dog is up to date with vaccinations and parasite treatments. But they will have 24hr care and usually all their home comforts. Obviously if you can get a family member or friend to look after your dog while you are away is always a great option, if you trust them to do the job right but, the next best thing to that is to hire a Petsitter.

6 reasons why a Petsitter will fit the bill

  1. You will have someone not only looking after your dog(s) but also your home; most petsitters will do home services too like collecting mail, watering plants, leaving out bins so you dont have to worry about coming home to a pile of mail or dead plants. It will all be taken care of. Most petsitters will take care of other pets as well as dogs and cats but check first.
  2. A Petsitter will usually charge you for the time you are away, not by the number of pets you have, therefore if you have lots of pets a Petsitter could be a cheaper option in the long run.
  3. By remaining in their home environment most dogs and cats are a lot happier and therefore seem less likely to pine or worry while owners are away, why would they, they’re at home!
  4. Pets get to stay in their normal routines for feeding, walks, play time, nap time so there is no big changes which could make your pet get stressed. Plus they have someone taking care of them the whole time you are away.
  5. If you have a pet that needs specialist feeding or medication, this is always an added worry in kennels that the same person will do this properly. With a Petsitter you can show them and make sure you are happy before you leave knowing that that person will do exactly what you have shown them and your pet is in good hands.
  6. Petsitters usually get their work from repeat business and word of mouth, someone who does a good job and is trusted will always be recommended, so ask friends or other dog owners who they use to look after their pets. You might be surprised to find there is a local Petsitter in your area.

Most Pet sitter have many years experience with looking after different animals, including their own.  Don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience, many professional Petsitters will bring references from other clients, insurance certificates and a contract for you to fill in to keep everything legal, professional and both parties happy. They will usually do an introduction interview to say Hi and answer your questions and of course to meet your pets, obviously the petsitter wants to be happy taking on the job as much as you will want to be happy hiring that person to look after your home and pets.

If all goes well then once your petsitter has been hired you can go on holiday with the safe knowledge that your dog, cat or bunny is being well looked after and in safe hands and you can relax. Don’t be afraid to ask your petsitter to send you a text or an email for updates if this is the first time away from you pet, they will understand. I am always happy to text worrying owners and even send them photos of their pet having a good time, we all worry a little when we leave our pets.

I hope I have helped you take a bit of the worry out of going away and leaving your dog or pets at home. If you live in N.Ireland you can find my petsitting services HERE

I would love to hear your experience of going away and who you use to take care of your pet, please leave a comment below.

Bernie – The Dog Owners Coach

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5 responses to “Time for a Vacation – What about the dog? 6 Reasons to Hire a Petsitter”

  1. Jean says :

    Great information and ideas Bernie, Thanks.

  2. unicoachingster says :

    Spot on Bernie!!! As a part time pet and house sitter, you have hit all the right points. I have always said this is a win/win job. The dog (or cat) wins, the owners win and I win. I’m writing a book now about my experiences called “Sitting with The Dogs”. It tells what it’s like to live in other people’s houses, great stories about the dogs and my own internal experience of being with animals.

  3. unicoachingster says :

    PS – another point to hire a pet sitter (I call myself a housesitter for this reason) There is a living presence in the home. I stay 24 hours but can come and go during the day, pick up mail, water, etc. It shows that someone is living there while the owners are gone. Many owners feel safer knowing their house is not sitting prey to intruders. I seldom leave the animals at night. And I have one client who asks I not leave her dog at all so I take her where ever i may go. It’s very personalized work.

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