Pet Day Care
Pet Care When You're Not There
Do you have a pet? Do you need pet day care? It is wonderful having an animal in your life yet there are times, perhaps even on a regular basis when you cannot be there for them.
Many people, myself included feel it is not fair to leave most dogs alone for very long periods of time and some cats do not like it either. So what do you do when you can't be there?
I have outlined some of the pet day care choices I am aware of but there may well be more and I would love to hear about them.
I am also interested in hearing about your choices and experiences of pet day/longer term care you have experienced with your pets.
Thank you for taking part in the polls and please leave any comments in the guestbook below.
Pet Day Care Choices?
Some people are lucky enough to have family who are able to look after their pets when the owner cannot be there.
Some pets are just fine being left alone for set periods during the day, but not for weekends away or holidays or hospital emergency stays.
Other pets especialy those who have seperation anxiety find it very hard to be left alone at all.
So if you cannot rely on family what do you do then?
This page explores some of the pet day care choices that are available. Some of these are common, others may not be available where you live. However they are worth looking into if you would rather not leave your pet home alone.
This mainly covers dogs and then cats but could be explored for a variety of animals/birds. I know a sitter who will happily look after any animal or bird from a parrot to a dog, cat, rabbit and horse. She even feeds and cleans out chickens when the owners are away .
Do You Use Pet Day Care?
Kennels or Cattery
The oldest and most common and available form of dog or cat day care is a Kennel or cattery. It is most often used when the family are going on a holiday where the animal cannot go as well. However it may also be used for weekends away, or increasingly on a daily basis to accomodate work committments.
Kennels vary from the basic to out and out luxery accomodation! You need to look for one that is at the least licensed, clean and tidy, where the animals get regular exercise and well run with staff who understand animals.
Dogs should be alert but relaxed. If you visit there will most likely be a round of barking but this should subside after a while. Kennels should be clean with bedding and water available at all times.
The cattery should be clean and calm with water available and the cats in good condition.
Kennels/Catteries should ask that they see the dogs or cats vaccination certificates and kennel cough cert and that they are regulalry wormed. They should ask you what your dog/cat eats and when and be happy to stick to his/her diet.
Ask how often your dog will be exercised and where and whether it is on or off lead and whether with other dogs or alone. The answers may be important to you and your dog.
Ask them questions about what they do in a medical emergency or just if your dog or cat looks sick. Ask which vet they use
Ask how often they check on the animals and what they look for.
Ask if there are any additional extras like grooming, bathing, extra playtime etc.
Iti s a good idea to have a trial day for your pet so that you can see how they get on with just one day then another trial where it is a day and a night before you decide to leave them there for a holiday.
Many dogs are happy in kennels and cats in catteries but also many are not in which case you will need to look in to alternatives...
Dogs At Work?
When we had Goldie I often wished I could have taken him to work . He would have loved it and he was well behaved, but sadly we cannot. What do you /your employer think of dogs at work?
Are You Allowed to Take Your Dog to Work?
Notes For The Dog Or Cat Owner
Check Is my pet:-
In good health - ie no infectious disease
A licensed and insured dog walker can be an excellent idea for pet day care. It can be especially useful if you are ill temporarily and cannot take your dog out for a walk. It may be that you are older or have a mobility issue that means you cannot walk your dog as far as you would like/ he needs every day or maybe you are just short of time at the momment or your dog needs more activity.
A dogwalker is useful if you have a dog than can be left alone for a several hours but needs a break during the day, time to stretch his legs, use the toilet and have some fun.
Dog walkers sometimes will walk a dog one to one and sometimes in groups. What will suit your dog depends how social he is with other dogs. It is very important that you specify if you want your dog walked one to one - you may pay more for this service.
Usually dogwalkers charge by the hour or half hour and in my experience rates and service quality vary a lot.
It is important to tell the dog walker if you want your dog kept on the lead. I would certainly recommend this at least until the dog knows the dogwalker very well. If the dog walker refuses to keep the dog on lead you may need to rethink if you want to use that dogwalker.
Also discuss where your dog will be walked on roads or fields etc.
Ask Questions about what the dogwalker will do in an emergency situation and discuss their experience. Make sure you arrange an interview and meeting with the dogwalker first. Observe how they interact with your dog and see if you feel comfortable with this. You may like to ask their opinions on dog training methods to guage how they will treat your dog and check what pet daycare they actually cover.
Make sure your dogwalker has an emergency number for you and your vet. Ask for the dogwalkers telephone number.
If you are going to let your dogwalker have your house keys, ask how these will be stored and ask to see the dog walkers licence and insurance.
Your Animal Friend.
What is your pet?
Dog Day Care
Dog day care is where you take your dog to a dog creche essentially. There will be a number of dogs in the room or paddock area. It can include running around and playing with other dogs, a quiet area, a sandpit, water pool etc and can be wonderful for high energy active, very sociable dogs. It may be out side (with an indoor rest area) inside or ideally both.
The area should be clean, free of dog poo, water available at all times and the dogs under control. It is a good idea to visit without your dog the first time to assess properly.
Usually there's an assessment first to see how your dogs react in this enviroment. Not all dogs will like this enviroment and some can become very stressed. Others love it and get a fun day.
Most dog day care will not allow bitches who are in season to attend. Most will not take puppies under 3/4 months old as they need to have all thier injections. Dogs attending will need to have all their vaccinations kept up to date and be regularly wormed and deflead.
Of course of a dog does attend with any infections this can be spead very quickly so please keep your dog at home if she is sick.
You need to check the enviroment very carefully for security and safety. Ask about the ratio of handlers to dog.
Ask what action if any is taken if the dogs play gets out of hand or if a fight breaks out.
For Your Pet Carer
Owner emergency tel number
Vet tel number, address and hours of opening.
Dog must wear identification disc
Ideally dog is microchipped
Carer is aware of any medical conditions/illness
Carer is aware of any behavioural issues
Carer is aware of your pets likes and dislikes.
Pet Nanny Day Care
Pet nannies may either come to your home to look after your dog or cat on a daily basis or some days in the week or if its a dog more commonly you take the dog to their home each day you need care.
They look after the dog and take it for walks and stick to your routine. This can include anything from feeding to walks to light grooming to fuss and play.
Your dog needs to be able to cope with someone else taking care of her for a whole day.
They look after your cat, feeding, grooming and fuss and play.
Advantages are that if the Pet nanny comes to your home your dog/cat is in his familiar surroundings and is not left alone at all. However you need to be comfortable with someone in your home and you need to check their credentials, insurance and licence carefully.
If you take the dog to their home you need to check again all the credentials and insurance and also check the garden is secure and the house is dog friendly.
Ask about previous experience and gain references.
Ask how many dogs they look after in a day and if any other dogs will be there as well. You may want to insist your dog is the only one and negociate this with them.
How to Choose a pet sitter
Pet sitting is normally a service provided when you go on holiday. Pet sitters will come and stay in your home for a period from a weekend to 2, 3 or even 4 weeks at a time.
It is more expensive than kennels but you do get your pets looked after in their own home and your home is occupied.
Pet Sitting may also include shorter periods of time such as a few hours each day for cats or dogs while you are out when they will play, exercise, feed, toilet your pet depending on his/ her needs.It maybe useful for older pets and for puppies and cats/kittens.
It is important to ensure they carry the correct insurance and credentials and to go through a reputable organisation.
Having a Pet sitter when you are away may help to reduce your house insurance. It can be especially useful for dogs/cats who do poorly in kennels and also if you have many pets, even of different types as pet sitters can be chosen who are experienced and comfortable with dogs, cats, horses etc as required.
Where to find a pet sitter
Which pet day care is best for you ?
Which pet day care is best for you and your pet and why ?
I am very interested in your comments on how pet care works for you .
Thank you for taking part in the polls and I appreciate any comments.
I do read every comment before posting.
Do let me know if I have missed any pet care that is available to you. I would love to hear about it.
© 2010 RaintreeAnnie