Keeping your pet safe and snug while you’re away

By Steve Johnson with Public Health Library

As much as you’d like to take them along, your dog or cat has got to stay behind sometimes, particularly if you’re going away on business and the hotel you’re staying at isn’t pet-friendly. Although parting with your four-legged friend may be difficult, you can rest assured they’ll be safe and sound if you find the right lodging for them, and there’s something for every budget. Here’s a look at your options so you can make the best choice for your best buddy.

A Friend’s Place

This option could be free if you’re gifted in the art of persuasion, your pet is really adorable, or a combination of both. Of course, you shouldn’t just hand off them to anybody who’s willing to do the job. It should be someone reliable with enough time to devote to their duties. When it comes to that, be sure to give clear instructions, especially for medication, along with a list of emergency contacts, including your vet.

Home Alone

Adult cats can be left alone for up to 48 hours, but there are a number of precautions to take beforehand. First off, leave enough dry food along with readily accessible fresh water. Also, the litter box should be clean to prevent the rest of your home from becoming a toilet, while some well-placed blankets and a scratching post keeps your furniture from being destroyed. And if you haven’t done so, keep cleaning products as well as cords and cables safely out of reach.

The Kennel

This option will set you back about $25 to $45 per night depending on where you live, according to PetCareRx. Services differ somewhat from facility to facility, but for that money, your pet usually gets a place to sleep, food, and water, as well as walks and playtime for the pups. One of the drawbacks is the possibility of your four-legged friend catching a contagious disease from one of the other animals. If that worries you, you may want to consider the next option.

In-Home Boarding

A pet boarder is somebody who loves animals so much that they open their home to them for a bit of extra cash. How much is that? It varies greatly but is sometimes even cheaper than kennels. What’s more, your pet may enjoy more individualized treatment if you find a good one. To go about that, get some referrals from other pet owners, and keep your own animal’s habits and preferences in mind before asking the host questions about the services they offer.

A Pet Hotel

Do you feel really bad about leaving and want to spoil your pet? This is the luxury option, and prices often run into hundreds of dollars. At one top-notch establishment in New York, guests get rooms that are larger than some apartments, complete with flat-screen TVs. There are also regular outings to the local park for the dogs and custom meals cooked by a personal chef. If that’s not enough, you can plunk down for grooming and “pawdicure” services.

Home With a Pet Sitter

A pet sitter is someone who comes to your house to look after your dog. According to, they charged an average of $16.80 per hour in 2017, though that varied based on the services offered, with higher rates for dog training. Some sitters stay overnight in your home while others check in regularly to dole out food, water, and playtime. One of the main advantages is that your four-legged friend stays in an environment where they’re already cozy.

Now you can sleep easy while you’re away, safe in the knowledge that your pet is getting along just fine. Just don’t forget to buy them a souvenir, as they can never have enough squeaky toys.

Artwork by Pixabay

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