Whether it’s for vacation, travel, hospitalization, or any other reason, it’s important to have solutions. Depending on your budget and your expectations, several possibilities are available to you. You will have to prefer certain options depending on the type of animal you own: dog, cat, bird or rodents.
The different pet care solutions
The boarding house or kennel
To have your dog or cat looked after for several days and leave in peace and quiet, you can use 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 pets, depending on your wishes and its character. The team of carers is made up of people who are used to taking care of dogs and cats. They will provide the daily care necessary for the animal’s well-being and will be responsible for feeding them and ensuring their good health. The premises have specific equipment to allow professional guardians to take care of your four-legged companions to the best of their ability, but it is important to know that this quality of care comes at a cost. For a dog you should count between 10 and 20€ per day and for a cat about 8 to 12€ per day in classic structures. There are also luxury establishments where animals are offered exceptional living conditions. Of course these luxury boarding houses are much more expensive than a classic boarding house. If you have several animals at the same time, do not hesitate to negotiate the price. If you want to choose an establishment that meets your expectations, please ask about the services offered beforehand. You can visit the premises and ask questions to the employees of the boarding house or kennel. Don’t forget to inquire about the conditions of care, but also, ask to see where the animal will sleep and to know the activities and walks that are planned. You will be able to provide your pet’s usual food so as not to change its 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 while you are away. The advantage of this solution is that your friends already know the animal. Choose someone you trust who will not give you the wrong impression at the last minute. When you are looking to have small animals such as rodents or birds taken care of, this is often the option that will pose the least problem for your friends. They 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 look after your dog or cat. Remember to provide the person with everything necessary to take good care of your pet and leave them a list of recommendations and 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 entrust to him. Often this service is free, but you are free to reward your friend for the service he or she provides. You should be aware that the friend who will take care of your dog or cat is liable for any 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 boarding houses and your pet will benefit from a family life with its own place with people who are passionate about animals. Often, families who offer this service already have pets in their homes and are able to accommodate dogs, cats, rabbits or birds. You will need to get to know the host family before deciding whether or not to entrust your pet to them. We advise you to visit the place where this family lives and to bring your dog or cat for a first contact. To find a host family, there are associations and websites where families post ads. Find out about the composition of the family: What other animals live in the place? Does the family have children and of what age? These are important if your dog is not used to children or if you have small, fragile animals that small children will not have to handle. You will generally need to provide food and consumables for your animals. The foster family usually has accessories to take care of the animals they keep, but we advise you to bring your pet’s basket and toys as well. It will be less likely to get lost with familiar objects.
If you don’t want to change your pet’s environment or if he is not very sociable, home care is a good solution. You can call a relative, a neighbor, a student looking for pocket money or answer an ad proposing home care. Depending on the length of your absence and the animal to be cared for, you will agree on a number of services. If you are leaving for a very short time, a simple visit to spend time with the animal and feed it will be enough for a cat, bird or rodent. For a dog you can add to this service a request for a walk. For a longer absence you must provide a home care with all the necessary services for the animal’s well-being. The person will come daily to your home for a predefined time and a certain number of tasks to perform. Choose a person that you will trust because you entrust him with your pet but also with your home. Take time to get to know your pet-sitter, ask him/her questions, introduce the animal to him/her and check that he/she is able to react in case of a problem. Once you have found the right person, remember to give him/her all the instructions necessary for the smooth running of the operation. Explain where the products and accessories are stored and give them the contact information of your veterinarian in case of emergency. Rates vary depending on the person you’ve found, some even offer their service for free or at a very low price.
Exchange between families
This solution is becoming more and more fashionable, it has the advantage of being totally free. It is a service between private individuals where you arrange an exchange of custody over different periods. When you go on vacation the person keeps your pets at home and when they leave you in turn keep their pets at home. This exchange of services can be done with your work colleagues, friends, neighbors but also with people wishing to practice this type of care. Of course, you must make sure that you have different departure dates when you leave. There are many websites where you can find people who are looking for an exchange of animal care. Sometimes you will have to pay for access to these sites in order to view the ads. Usually the cost of registration does not exceed 30€ per year depending on the animal to be kept. Take some time to get to know the person applying for the pet-sitting exchange service. The ideal is to meet to discuss the animals to make sure you have the same expectations and values in terms of education. At this time, introduce your pet to the person and get to know the animal you will be caring for. Once you have found the right person, you can repeat this exchange of good practice every year and create a true relationship of trust. When you leave your pet in the care of this person, leave with him his favorite toys, bedding, food and bedding.
With so many possibilities to have your pets looked after while you are away, it is hard to think that there is so much abandonment, especially during the summer vacations. 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 the classified newspapers, but also at your veterinarian who knows the local structures that will correspond to your request.