Thanksgiving and Christmas for many families meantraveling. Making accommodations for pets beforehand can be a challenge, but not if you know your options and don’t wait until the last minute to make arrangements.
“We always tell (pet) parents the sooner they know the dates the better,” said Vera Mahen, owner of Vera’s Posh Paws dog day care and boarding facilities in Moore and Oklahoma City. “We never know when we will book up and it is always good to get in ahead of time.”
But before you jump to book the first boarding spot with availability, there are a few things to take into consideration. Mahen said it’s best for the pet owner and the pets to find a facility that’s open every day of the year, allows potential customers to tour anytime during their open hours and ideally has cameras so pet owners can see their pets from anywhere so you always know they’re safe.
Another benefit to booking a boarding option ahead of time, she mentioned, is that it gives pets that have never stayed away from home before an opportunity to get used to the new place.
“If it has been awhile, or if it is the pup’s first time boarding,” she said, “bringing them by to visit and play with other dogs helps them adjust and feel more comfortable for their long stay.”
If you know your pet would be more comfortable at home, another option is to hire a dog sitter to stay at your home. Carey Pet & Home Care is an Oklahoma City-based pet sitting company with dozens of qualified caretakers on staff and available, even during the holidays. Cris Carey opened the business 14 years ago and feels proud to offer local pets the option to stay in their homes when owners are away. Her best advice to pet owners considering care: remember you get what you pay for.
“The kid next door might be $10 and that might be fine,” she said, “but many people want a company like ours because we’re bonded and insured, our sitters are pet CPR and first aid trained and they’re extremely professional with what they do.”
Carey’s pet sitters and clients use an app that allows the sitters to take and share photos and notes with clients while they’re away. Just like with boarding, it’s important to get your sitting services booked early during the holiday season.
Here are three tips for preparing your pets for your travel without them:
Make sure they’re updated on vaccinations. Most boarding businesses will require proof that your pets are up-to-date on rabies, distemper and bordetella.
Leave plenty of supplies. Sitters will need to know where food, litter, medications, treats and other important items are located at your house. At a boarding facility, it can be helpful to your pet to leave them with some familiar items like beds and blankets.
Leave current contact information and be sure to take the sitter or kennel contact information with you when you’re traveling.
For more boarding options in Oklahoma City, go to www.metrofamilymagazine.com/pet-services.