Travel pet care options

If you can’t take your furry friends with you when you’re out of town, grooming options include hiring a pet sitter, asking a buddy to leave Rex for a few days, or booking a kennel stay.

By visiting, Inquirer readers can access, for free until July 5, the unbiased quality and price ratings of local catteries by the non-profit Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook. To help you start your search for pet care products, here are a few options to consider.

Traveling with a pet has a number of advantages. You will share your experience with them, know they will receive loving care, relieve them (and yourself) of separation stress, and avoid the expense and hassle of a nanny or nursery.

But it may not be possible to take your pet. Perhaps you are flying to work; your vacation digs may not allow pets; and having a pet can be downright inconvenient. What do you do with Mr. Sprinkles when you go to dinner, to a museum or to a performance, and even more so to a business meeting?

There are also risks. Pets can be frightened or injured if they are treated roughly by airline movers. Some of them were left for several hours in airline service areas or sent to the wrong destinations. Dogs have died from heatstroke in the luggage compartments of planes.

If your pet is not used to car travel, he may become anxious. Most importantly, your pet can get lost, disorientated, and lost forever. Finally, you can not leave your pet alone in the car, even for a short time.

If you would like to bring your dog, please see the AAA Traveling with Your Pet website for a list of hotels and motels that accept puppies.

Another option is to leave your pet with a friend or babysitter. Your pet will not be left alone overnight and you will avoid some inconvenience and expense. But such an arrangement may burden the friend with responsibility, and the pet may experience stress caused by separation from you and its familiar environment.

Having a babysitter in your home has significant benefits. Your pet stays in a familiar environment and continues to lead a familiar lifestyle. Your pet will not experience the stress of being with other animals. In addition, a nanny can provide services such as picking up mail, watering plants, and making your home look occupied.

But pet products also have their drawbacks. Whether nannies work for a commercial pet care service or are neighbors, you can’t be sure of the skills, knowledge, or diligence they put into the job. If you don’t arrange night care, your pet will still end up spending long hours alone. If you use a commercial pet care service, you are giving a stranger access to your home. And the cost of care can be high.

Most of what Checkbook hears from pet care customers is positive, but there are enough negatives to justify caution.

Most nurseries used to be fabulous places. Dogs were usually kept in isolation; Cats spend most of their time in cages. The nurseries have focused on keeping the critters safe by keeping them separate.

No more; most nurseries…


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