If you’re planning on traveling without your pets over the December holidays, you need to decide soon whether you will board or kennel your pets or get a pet sitter. Whichever way you choose, you should assume that Chicago area boarding kennel spaces and pet sitters’ schedules will fill up fast this time of year. The last thing you want is to be worrying about your pet(s) for your whole vacation because you couldn’t get the sitter or kennel you wanted and now you’re afraid that the care he, she, or they get won’t be good enough.
Indications sitters might be a better option than a kennel for your pet(s)
- You have no time to do research or connections (friends who’ve used boarding kennels) to find a facility that you trust.
- Your pet needs extra attention to be happy.
- Your pet is stressed by meeting new people.
- Your pet seems stressed when taken to new places (such as friends’ homes), even if you’re there with the pet.
Advantages of boarding
- You don’t have to let anyone into your house while you’re gone.
- Your pet is monitored in a trustworthy location by professionals who should know what they are doing.
Check with the kennel(s) you consider regarding care options and costs. Extra attention and exercise may be “add-on” options for dogs. You may be able to get “perks” such as a climbing post or window perch for cats.
Ferrets do not travel well. Nor do I know of services that offer boarding options for small exotic pets. (Possible business opportunity? Hmm…) So even when we take our dogs with us, I still need a sitter for the ferrets.
Luckily, I have a friend who has vet-tech training. She does pet sitting on the side, mostly in the Wheaton-Glen Ellyn area, and luckily for my ferrets, Warrenville is within her radius of care-giving. I the dogs stay home, she does them too. A friend with a cat has a network of friends she can ask to come feed, water and litter-clean for her cat when she travels.
On the other hand, I have friends who routinely board their dogs. One family takes their dogs to the breeder one dog came from. The other family uses a local boarding facility with walks in the neighboring park as an option.
How do you decide what care option will work best for your own pets? You know your cat(s) and/or dog(s) best. Whether they will do better with a pet sitter or be fine in a kennel differs with the temperament of each animal. However, you should also consider what’s available in your location and budget!