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Planning your pet’s summer vacation

Are you planning a summer vacation? Have you thought about your pet’s vacation? Now is the time to think about both.

Now is the time to start planning for your pet’s care while you are on vacation. Do I get a house sitter, do I leave them at my Vet, or do I take them to a boarding kennel. Here are some things to consider.

With a house sitter, are you sure that person will be there to make sure they are let out to take care of business several times a day? Will they be kept on a normal feeding schedule? Is the house sitter use to caring for a pet? Can you really trust this person to leave your personal belongings alone.

At a Vet’s office, there is a real good chance the people caring for your pet, know what they are doing, but how big will the pets kennel be? How much exercise will they really get? A Vet’s office is good place for a really sick pet, but a basically healthy pet needs more exercise.

What about a boarding kennel? If this is your choice, you need to do a little research, because there are good kennels, and there are some not so good kennels. Start by asking your veterinarian for a referral, they know good ones and the bad ones, based on their customers comments. Some other questions to ask: Is the kennel licensed by Snohomish County? That does not mean much, but it start. Will your pet have their own kennel or is it open boarding environment, most pets prefer to at least some time in their own den. How often will your pet get to stretch their legs, take care of business, and just get in some good sniff time? Does that cost more? Can your bring your pets bedding? The scent of home will help keep them relaxed. Can you provide your pets food? Does that cost more? Keeping most pets on their own diet will help keep their stomach settled, and is one more thing that smells like home to keep them a little more relaxed. Can your dog have a favorite toy of theirs? Some dogs become toy possessive and some kennel do not let you bring any toys, while other kennels know how to handle dogs. And finally, is there someone on site 24/7 and what kind of alarm system tdo they have in case something does goes wrong.

A good kennel is the safest place for your dog in your absence. If this is your choice, start planning now, because good kennels are high demand, summertime and holidays also fill up early. A good kennel will start their 4th of July waiting list by mid May. They will also be booked for all weekends during the summer months 3 weeks in advance. Plan in advance and get the best possible vacation spot for your pet.

House sitters may have the best intentions, but here are a few horror stories. Mom was going on vacation and had a daughter house sit. Not use to living with a crazy Lab, she got careless the last night, when she opened the door, the dog dashed though it, out into the street, where she was hit by a car and killed. It even happened to Governor Gregoire when she went to the Super Bowl to watch the Seahawks. She had a friend take in her Pomeranian. It too door dashed and did not survive her romp in the street. Another family had an in-law house sit while they went to Hawaii. All the pets survived, but a candle turned the house into ashes.

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George Schlosser

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