Dog walkers are a common sight around the city. These professionals fill in for family during the work day, making sure the pups get breaks to relieve themselves and a nice dose of exercise. As when hiring any caregiver for an animal you love, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and ask questions about those aspects of the job that are important to you and your dog.
Those who have cats and other indoor pets, as well as dogs, might need a pet sitter from time to time. Pet sitters will come to your home each day, stay in your home, or keep your pet in their home.
If you use a dog walker, start with him or her. You and your dog already know and trust the person who is in and out of your house each day and responsible for your dog’s safety on the city streets. Many dog walkers do offer pet sitting.
There are also a few people in every neighborhood who make a little extra income by taking care of pets. If you ask neighbors for recommendations, you may find a gem in your area.
Some dog breeders provide boarding services for dogs in their line. In the case of small scale breeders, your pet could have the run of their home except at bedtime.
Boarding Kennel or Dog Hotel?
Boarding kennels vary drastically in the quality of the facilities and the services they offer. You should insist on seeing exactly where your pet will be kept and inspect the entire facility before choosing one.
Here's a great article on choosing a kennel from the Humane Society of the United States.
Dog hotels are one step up from kennels. They offer rooms with walls and furniture rather than wire pens or kennels. The best dog hotels are quieter, calmer, and more like a home environment than kennels.
Special Health Requirements
Boarding facilities will require proof that your animal is up-to-date on immunizations and in good health. If you have a dog or cat with serious health issues who needs careful monitoring of a medical condition or is very frail, consider boarding your pal at a veterinary hospital with 24-hour medical staff on duty. Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain offers this type of service for their clients.
Words: Penny Cherubino
Photography: © 2011-2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino witht he traveling dog from iStockphoto.com