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As soon as our trip to Kerala was finalized, I got fascinated by the idea of spending heavenly days with my friends on emerald green backwaters, houseboat rides and paddy fields of Alleppey. But my excitement came to a screeching halt the moment I saw Poko and Angel joyously watching me, going gaga over this holiday plan. I am a pet parent and love my four legged kids. I develop cold feet by the thought of leaving my two pet dogs alone at home, even if I am out for a day. And when it comes to a long vacation, I get worried how Poko and Angel will fare while I am away? Also, leaving my beloved pets with someone who’s not an animal lover, is stressful. To minimize the stress of leaving my pets in someone else’s care, I did some research which you may also find useful.

People you can count on

Many travelers look to relatives, neighbors, and friends for taking care of their pets and for some of them, this kind of an arrangement works, but pet experts caution against heavily relying on them for this task. For your pet, it is always better if they are kept under a professional pet sitter’s care for a few days, as more of a business contract than just a favor. Remember, your pet is a cute four legged kid only for your; for others, it’s only a dog.

It is wise to check with the local dog breeders and trainers who can suggest a good pet sitter. It is best to look for those pet sitters who are insured and bonded. Because finding a professional pet sitter in India can be cumbersome and unsafe, it is better to explore options like pet boarding or boarding kennels.

But the best option is…

Pet boardings are niche businesses, specifically designed and operated for pet care, their stay, and well-being. Generally, a pet boarding provides a range of services for your pet, which includes pet boarding, training, sales of pet supplies and pet shipping. Primarily, pet boarding takes care of dogs and cats. However, quite a few offer to board for horses, birds, rabbits and exotic pets too. Many pet boarders are smart to attract you and your fur babies by organizing various pet events, birthday parties, theme parties, pet parent sessions and pet awareness days. Even some high-end kennels make sure that your pet is pampered with extravagant and frilly fur parties. While you are out having fun with your friends, your canines or fields can have their own gala time at the boarding.

It is advised that you evaluate the pet boarding before you leave your beloved pets there. You can make a call to the kennel, but a personal visit is essential to ensure that the kennel is fit for your fur kids. Be watchful while checking on the general appearance of the kennel. Ask about the indoor/outdoor runs for the pets where they can run, play and exercise. My personal favorites are those boarding options which have a “No Visitors” policy as visitors can bring contagious agents with them, and you wouldn’t want your pets to catch diseases, at any cost.

Both my dogs are over smart. Many times they have searched me like a detective when I am away. Dogs and cats are climbers, jumpers, and diggers. A large kennel can have a field where your pet might swallow an object. So a kennel must be designed with pet security, safety, and supervision in mind. When you visit the kennel for a survey, remember to check for well-maintained gates and fencing and dividers between runs, cameras in the facility, doctors on call and firefighting equipment. The kennel should be free of dirt, odors, fecal accumulation and parasite infestation.

Make sure you don’t forget about…

Water, food, veterinary services, immunization requirements, medication policies and procedures, and pest control are a few important points you don’t want to miss for the well-being of your fur babies. You should also discuss the provisions for animal comfort at the kennel. Ensure that proper temperature conditions, light and ventilation, and sleeping quarters are well-maintained in the bedding area of the pets.

Before you go out on vacation, make sure you have put your fur babies in the right hands so that you don’t suffer from separation anxieties, when you are supposed to have fun on the beach. Choose the best nest for your four legged kids and enjoy traveling.

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