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Where to Leave a Pet While on Vacation

Where to Leave a Pet While on Vacation

Even if you adore your pet, there will be times when you have to leave home. So, who will care for your dog or cat while you're on vacation or can't be home with them? Our Ketchum vets share advice on what to do with your cat or dog while you travel.

Going Away for Multiple Days

Deciding where to leave your dog or cat when you're away, whether for a vacation or a short trip, can be tough. 

Whether you are heading off on vacation for a couple of weeks or away on a business trip for a few days, you must find appropriate care for your animal companion. At Sun Valley Animal Center, our vets understand that deciding which kind of care is best for you and your pet can be challenging. Still, by researching nearby options and understanding what each service provides, we can make this decision less stressful for you.  

Dog & Cat Boarding For Vacation or Time Away from Home

Pet boarding places were not so great in the past. Pets used to be kept in small cages for a long time. But things are different now!

These days, your dog or cat can be pampered and adored while you're away. Dogs can have fun socializing and playing with other pups and their caregivers while you're away. And cats can enjoy plenty of pats and cuddles (if they like interaction with people). Kennels for both dogs and cats are kept clean and fresh-smelling, and cat litter is changed regularly.

Today's animal boarding facilities range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for dogs and cats who require extra love and attention. As with the various levels of service, the price points for animal boarding services also range from affordable to extravagant.

If you're trying to decide where to leave your pet when you're away, make sure to check out a few places in your area. Find the one that's best for your pet and fits your budget. 

Facility Features

Price is a good way to tell how good a pet boarding place is. Suppose your four-legged family member will be treated to luxurious hotel-like spaces with comfy sofas to lounge on and TV to watch. In that case, you're going to pay more than you would to board your pet at a standard facility with roomy crates, fenced runs for dogs, and comfy viewing areas for cats. 

If you want your dog to enjoy an active adventure while you're traveling, a fun camp experience may be ideal. Dog camps across the country offer loads of time for your dog to explore outdoors, as well as added facilities, in some cases for swimming and playing with other dogs.

Some fancy cat boarding places have luxury cat condos with special furniture and climbing gyms. 

But remember, just because a place is fancy doesn't mean they'll take better care of your pet. 

Choosing The Level of Service, That's Right for Your Dog or Cat

Pet care while for while you're on vacation will typically be priced based on the level of service you choose. Luxury accommodations will be far more expensive per day than a standard kennel.

Standard care for dogs at most pet boarding facilities includes:
  • A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in
  • Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs
  • Breakfast served in the kennel
  • Out of kennel playtime in the middle of the day to allow your puppy to burn some energy
  • Dinner served in the kennel
  • Evening bathroom break
Standard care for cats at most boarding facilities includes:
  • A clean, roomy kennel for your cat to sleep in
  • Playtime with staff for cats who enjoy human interaction
  • Meals served based on your instructions
  • Frequent litter changes and bedding changes
Other services commonly available at pet boarding facilities:

If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, many facilities also offer the following services:

  • Specialized veterinary care
  • Training
  • Grooming services
  • Shuttle services to and from the facility

The Pros & Cons of Boarding Your Pet While You're On Vacation

  • Pros:  Pet boarding offers your pet a regular routine they enjoy, with a set meal and walk times. It also allows your dog to socialize with other animals. If your pet needs medical care, facilities with on-site vets are a good choice when you're away.
  • Cons:  Some pets may find it tough to be away from home and might become anxious in new places, leading to potential conflicts with other animals. Boarded pets also have a higher risk of catching illnesses like kennel coughs or colds.

Hiring a Pet Sitter

When you're interviewing potential pet sitters, ask them for a list of people who can vouch for their work and a list of their qualifications. How much you pay for a pet sitter depends on the type of care you want for your pet.

Pet sitters can also make your home appear occupied to anyone passing by, which can help protect your property. Hiring a live-in pet sitter will allow you to rest assured that someone is caring for your home at night.

Extra Services Available From Some Pet Sitters:

If your dog or cat requires more care than just feeding and being let out a few times a day, some pet sitters offer additional services such as:

  • Dog training
  • Pet bathing and grooming
  • Frequent dog walks
  • Housekeeping

The Pros & Cons of Hiring a Pet Sitter

  • Pros: The primary benefit of hiring a pet sitter is that your four-legged friend may find it less stressful to stay at home. Other benefits of hiring a pet sitter include the increased security of having someone in your home, and pet sitters can be less expensive than some boarding facilities.
  • Cons: Bringing a stranger into your home to care for your animal can be uncomfortable and certainly isn't for everyone. You may also find that popular pet sitters in your area book up very quickly and may not be available when you need them, particularly at peak holiday times such as spring break.

Making the Right Choice of Kennel for Your Pet While You Are on Vacation

Many pet owner worry when they have to leave their pets during vacations. Finding the right level of care for your pet ultimately comes down to personal preference, price, and availability in your neighborhood. You can easily discover the perfect solution for your furry friend within your budget by exploring local services. 

Boarding Your Dog or Cat at 

At , we understand that it can be stressful to leave your pet - especially if they are ill or when they are recovering from a procedure or surgery. Our goal is to help put your mind at ease by providing your dog or cat with the care they need while you're away. We provide complete boarding services for pets, including those animals who are healthy and those with medical conditions that require treatments, medications, and/or monitoring. 

We offer comprehensive pet boarding services for both healthy and medically needy animals. Our facility has a compassionate and skilled team dedicated to looking after your pet when you're on vacation or away.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for a great place to board your pet in Ketchum? Contact our team at Sun Valley Animal Center to learn more about our dog and cat boarding services.

New Patients Welcome

Sun Valley Animal Center is accepting new patients at our two convenient locations! Our vets are passionate about the health of our Valley's pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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