If you're planning on going out of town at some point during the upcoming holiday season or perhaps traveling on business, you may be wondering what your best option is for the care of your canine companion in your absence. You may be tempted to hire someone to come to your home to care for your pet or to ask a caring friend or neighbor to look after it rather than taking it to a professional boarding kennel, but this approach can have unintended consequences -- some of them tragic. Following are just three of the things that can go wrong.
Your Pet Sitter Experiences an Emergency
If your pet sitter experiences a personal or family emergency, the chances are excellent that your furry friend will suddenly plunge to the bottom of that person's priorities. In the unhappy event that your pet sitter has an automobile accident, sudden illness, or other mishap that lands him or her in the hospital, your pet may be left alone for the duration of your trip, especially if the pet sitter is injured to the extent that he or she can't contact you and alert you to the situation. The pet sitter's family and friends will be so distracted by the situation that your dog's well being will be the last thing on their minds.
Your Pet Gets Sick
Your pet sitter may not have the experience necessary to discern when your pet has fallen ill and needs to see a vet, especially if he or she is only stopping by for short visits once or twice a day. If the person you've chosen to keep an eye on your pet in your absence works or attends school, he or she may be in too much of a hurry to spend any time looking for signs that your dog is ailing. Dogs that are left alone also tend to become agitated and anxious, and this may lead to behaviors that could cause the animal harm, such as chewing on objects that contain harmful substances or actually choking on them. Keep in mind that dogs are highly social creatures that may undergo changes in behavior when deprived of a social environment, and that just because your pet doesn't appear to experience separation anxiety throughout the course of a normal day doesn't mean that this behavior won't surface if it's left alone for long periods of time.
Your Pet May Get Loose and Disappear
Even if you've taken the precautions of having your dog micro-chipped and getting it licensed through local authorities, your dog might not be returned to you. If it runs out into traffic, it could become severely injured or perhaps even killed. Most veterinarians will not proceed with surgery or other expensive procedures without your express consent, so even if a Good Samaritan takes your injured animal to a vet clinic, there is a chance that little will be done to save its life. It may also simply disappear and never be seen again, and you will never know where it went or if it's safe and happy.
Whether paid or otherwise, private pet sitters have very little liability, and if they're friends or family, they will probably feel that they are doing you a favor -- which they are. However, being responsible for your pet while you're out of town is a huge favor to ask. A professional boarding kennel can provide trained staff in a secure environment where the mishaps listed above are very unlikely to occur, making it possible for you to thoroughly enjoy your vacation knowing that your furry friend is in the best possible hands.
For more information about pet boarding, contact a company like Kritter's Kountry Kennel.
Hi! My name is Lisa Caldwell, and I often refer to myself as the cat lady. My husband isn’t as proud of that title as I am. Oh, he loves our cats. It’s just that every time he says no more cats, it seems I find a poor little kitten stranded in the snow or wandering the streets. We have a nineteen-year-old cat, a twelve-year-old, and three cats under the age of two. Each one has been rescued or came from the local Humane Society. We also have an eighty-five pound dog who thinks he’s one of the cats. I never bring a new kitten into the house and just toss them into the mix. I have a particular method of introducing a new pet into the household. I am going to share how this works, also how we feed and care for new kittens. Enjoy!