Choosing the Right ‘Babysitter’ for Your Dog

There are times when the family dog can be accommodated on long trips. More and more hotels have gone “pet friendly” in recent years, as the recession has forced them to open their doors to as many revenue streams as possible. For those who don’t mind spending the money, there are even posh resorts that cater to your pup, sort of a day spa for Man’s Best Friend. When you pick them up, they’re groomed and manicured and they smell like cookie dough… But what about the rest of us?

Shop Around

Usually, a vacation without your faithful friend means one thing, which is hiring a pet sitter. A very fortunate few of us have the kinds of close friends or relatives who will take in our dogs while we’re away. Even then – or especially , since that sort of help isn’t always of the professional variety – one can expect to return to a few indiscretions on the carpet, or a missing couch cushion or two. Choosing a dedicated pet-sitter will ease your worried mind and keep your friends and family from considering you and your pooch to be burdensome – and it will keep you from having to return the favor!

Menu of Services

There are certain steps one should take when looking to hire a pet-sitter. Check out your local classifieds (online and the old-fashioned newsprint kind) should send you in the right direction. References should be a must. Your pet-sitter should also be expected to do more than just show up to ensure delivery of food and water. If you wish your dog to be taken for walks, you have to specify that sort of service. Be sure, as well, that your sitter understands your pet’s nutritional requirements as well as you do.

Finally, decide whether you want to board your dog at a kennel, have a pet-sitter come by on a schedule, or have the pet-sitter outright live at your home (this is only recommended if you know and trust the pet-sitter quite well). The sitter will also need as much contact info as you can provide in the event of an emergency. The prices of such levels of service may also dictate which way you’ll want to go, but with a little bit of research, you should be able to find the pet-sitter that will best suit your needs and those of your dog.