Monday, March 8, 2010

Pet Sitting or Boarding your Companion

Pet Sitter Prep:

Can't take your four-legged friend along on your travels? For many pets the optimal solution is a pet sitter who stays in your home with your companion or at least visits several times a day. Relying on a neighbor or the kid across the street to check on your pet is not always a good idea.

Pet sitters take their job seriously. They come on a schedule and will not forget to show up or leave your companion without a bathroom break for too long. Cats are a bit more resilient since they can use an indoor "bathroom," but they should still be checked on daily and provided with fresh food and water, as well as some attention and play time. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International provide information and referrals to local pet sitters. Other places to shop for a reliable pet sitter are through your veterinarian or trainer, or by asking for recommendations at your local dog park.

Boarding Your Pet:

Millions of pet guardians choose to entrust their pets to boarding facilities when they travel. Thankfully, high quality boarding facilities are becoming easier to find. Boarding your companion can offer peace of mind: knowing your dog or cat is safe, secure, and well cared for. Advance planning is the key to finding the best boarding facility to meet your pet's needs. Ask for referrals from your veterinarian or trainer, and visit more than one boarding facility before making your choice. The American Boarding Kennels Association website provides information and referrals for boarding kennels across the country.You shouldn’t need an appointment for a tour of most boarding facilities. In fact a surprise visit is probably best. Experts often suggest that you drop by a boarding kennel without advanced notice to the staff in order to get the best idea of how things appear, smell, and sound when it's "business as usual" and they are not expecting you. Also, watching how the staff interacts with the animals will tell you a great deal about the care your pet will receive there. Try to find a facility that will accept blood titer results rather than requiring current vaccinations. Please see our article, "The Truth About Pet Vaccinations," for more information about the importance of minimizing vaccines.

Just as dogs and cats that will be traveling need support to manage stress, pets that are staying home alone or staying at a boarding facility will benefit from the support of calming remedies. In addition to extra support for the nervous system in handling stress, consider providing extra support for their immune system if they will be staying away from home. The remedies mentioned above for traveling pets are also appropriate for those left at home, as well as the following remedies:

Additionally, any one of the following remedies can help support a dog or cat during times of stress and separation. These are best given at least 2 times per day, starting several days to a week before you are planning to leave.

Only Natural Pet Relaxi-Herb (a liquid herbal)or

Genesis Resources Canine or Feline Anxiety & Stress Formula (tablets that can be crushed into moist food)or

Nature’s Herbs Calming Formula (very small “tea pills” – easy for dogs to swallow, for cats can be crushed)or

LoveMyPet Stress Relief (liquid homeopathic and herbal drops)
In addition to one of the remedies above, add one of the following flower essences to the drinking water:

SpiritEssence Holiday Stress Stopperor

Pet Essences Loneliness/Home Alone

Consider these remedies for providing extra support for your companion's immune system in preparation for a stay at a boarding facility:

PetAlive KC Defense can help prevent kennel cough or other respiratory infection. Give this for 7 days prior to boarding your pet.and / or

Colostrum sprinkled on the food is a well-tolerated immune support supplement. Even cats like the taste. Start giving this 3 to 5 days prior to boarding your companion, and have the staff continue supplementing during your pet’s stay.

Be sure to have one of the flower essences listed above added to your pet’s drinking water while they are boarded as well.

Any competent, ethical boarding facility will happily add whatever supplements provided to your cat or dog’s food and water to help make their stay more comfortable.If fleas are a problem in your area, be sure to spray or wipe your pet down with Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Spray before they go to the facility. And treat their bedding with some All-in-One Flea Remedy to avoid bringing any pesky parasites home with you. Along with his favorite bed and a toy or two, leave a t-shirt that you have recently worn that will retain your scent to help comfort your companion. And don’t forget to pack plenty of his favorite treats for the staff to spoil your friend in your absence!

Thank you to Only Natural Pet Store's Knowledge base for this information.

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