Whether on vacation, for travel, hospitalization, or for any other reason, it is important to have solutions. Depending on your budget and your expectations, several possibilities are available to you. You will need to prefer certain options depending on the type of animal you have: dog, cat, bird or rodent.
The different animal care solutions
The boarding house or the kennel
To keep your dog or cat for several days and leave in peace, you can call on a kennel or boarding house. These structures take care of everything for you. They offer accommodation adapted to the animal which may or may not be in contact with other congeners according to your wishes and its character. The team of trainers is made up of people who are used to taking care of dogs and cats. They will provide the daily care necessary for the well-being of the animal and will be responsible for feeding them as well as ensuring their good health. The places have specific equipment to allow professional caretakers to best take care of your four-legged friends, but you should know that this quality of care comes at a cost. For a dog it is necessary to count between 10 and 20 € per day and for a cat approximately 8 to 12 € per day in traditional structures. There are also luxury establishments where animals are offered exceptional living conditions. Of course these luxury pensions are much more expensive than a traditional pension. If you keep several animals at the same time, do not hesitate to negotiate the price. To choose a childcare establishment that meets your expectations, find out in advance about the services offered. You can visit the premises and ask questions of the pension or kennel employees. Remember to find out about the conditions of care, but also, ask to see where the animal will sleep and to know the activities as well as the walks that are planned. You will be able to provide your pet’s usual food so as not to change his habits too much and reduce the costs associated with this type of care.
Help from a friend
Ask your good friends if they can take care of your pet in your absence. The advantage of this solution is that your friends already know the animal. Pick someone you trust who won’t do you wrong at the last moment. When looking to babysit small animals like rodents or birds this is often the least problematic option for your friends. These take up little space and require less care than a dog for example. However, it is not impossible to find friends who are happy to babysit your dog or cat. Remember to provide the person with everything necessary to take good care of your animal and leave him a list of recommendations as well as the possibility of contacting you in the event of a problem. The ideal is to find a friend who is used to taking care of animals of the same type as the one you give him. Often this service is free but you are free to reward your friend for the service they render to you. You should know that the friend who will look after your dog or cat incurs civil liability in the event of an accident caused by the animal.
The host family
There are families who offer to keep your pets at home. The prices are cheaper than in the boarding houses and your animal will benefit from a family life with its appointed place with people passionate about animals. Often, the families who offer this service already have animals in their household and they are able to accommodate dogs, cats, rednesses or birds. You will need to get to know the host family before deciding whether or not to give them your pet. We advise you to visit the place where this family lives and to take your dog or cat for a first contact. To find a host family, there are associations and websites where families post advertisements. Find out about the composition of the family: What other animals live in the area? Does the family have children and how old are they? These items are important if your dog is not used to children or if you keep small, fragile animals that small children should not handle. You will generally need to provide food and consumables for your pets. The host family usually has accessories to take care of the animals they keep, but we recommend that you also bring your pet’s basket and toys. He will be less lost with objects that are familiar to him.
If you do not want to change your pet’s environment or if he is not very sociable, home care is a good solution. You can call on a loved one, a neighbor, a student looking to make pocket money or even respond to an ad offering home child care. Depending on the length of your absence and the animal to be looked after, you will agree to a certain number of services. If you are away for a very short period of time, a simple visit to spend time with the animal and feed it will be sufficient for a cat, bird or rodent. For a dog, you can add a request for a walk to this service. For a longer absence, home care must be provided with all the services necessary for the well-being of the animal. The person will come to you daily for a set time in advance and a certain number of tasks to be carried out. Choose a person whom you will trust because you entrust your animal to him but also your home. Take time to get to know your pet-sitter, ask him questions, introduce him to the animal and check that he is able to react in the event of a problem. When you have found the right person, remember to give them all the instructions necessary for the smooth running of the operations. Explain to him where the products and accessories he will need are stored and give him the contact details of your veterinarian in case of emergency. The prices vary depending on who you find, some even offer their service for free or at very low prices.
Exchange between families
This solution is becoming more and more fashionable, it has the advantage of being completely free. It is a service between individuals where you arrange an exchange of custody over different periods. When you go on vacation, the person keeps your animals at home and when they go on vacation, you keep their animals at home. This exchange of services can be done with your work colleagues, your friends, your neighbors but also with people wishing to practice this type of childcare. Of course, you have to make sure you have different departure dates on leave. There are many websites where one can find people who are looking for the pet sitting exchange. It will sometimes be necessary to pay for access to these sites in order to be able to view the ads. Generally the cost of registration does not exceed 30 € per year depending on the animal to be kept. Take time to get to know the candidate for the pet sitting exchange service. The ideal is to meet to discuss animals to verify that you have the same expectations and the same values when it comes to education. On this occasion, introduce your animal to the person and get to know the animal you will be keeping. Once the right person has been found, you can repeat this exchange of good process each year and create a real relationship of trust. When you leave your pet in guard with this person, leave with him his favorite toys, his bedding, his food and his litter box.
With so many possibilities to have your animals looked after during your absence, it is hard to believe that there is so much abandonment, especially during summer holidays. Even with a very small budget, you can find solutions adapted to the well-being of your animal. You can find all the good addresses on the internet, in classified ads newspapers, but also at your veterinarian who is aware of the local structures that will correspond to your request.
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