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When you travel for long periods of time, what do you do with your pet(s)?

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Dec 6th, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #1
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When you travel for long periods of time, what do you do with your pet(s)?

Just curious.

If it's just a weekend or less than a week, we'll send our dog to daycare. She goes there 3 times a week, and loves the sleepovers!

The past two times we went away, we were lucky and had a friend dog/house sit for us. He will be doing this for us again next week.

But when we head to Tanzania next week for 3 weeks, I am so torn on what to do. Our friend's girlfriend is moving in with him during that time, and she's not a doglover. The closest family is 2+ hours away, and our dog wouldn't get much exercise at all; rather, she'd be in her crate while everyone was at work/school. And I am against sending her to daycare for that long - she might think she has a new home, and plus, we couldn't afford that!

Just curious as to what you all do. My husband and I are going back and forth as to what we should do...

Thanks for the input.
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Dec 6th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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BostonGal,

I recently lost my dear old dog but I usually had her spend time at my sister's (30 min away) or at my mom's (2 hours away). I would rather have her underexercised and with people she "knows" than at a kennel/doggy daycare.

I haven't done this, but my mom has a petsitter whom she met through her vet who will come and stay at the house. She has to book her waaayy ahead of time, and, of course, pay her, but this has been a lifesaver for my mom and her pets.

Is your dog okay with spending time in her crate with warm blankets and treats? If so, I might go with the friends/family option if I were in your position.
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Dec 6th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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We have a house sitter who is also a dog walker. We started her out with a couple of weekends and now she does the two week stints for us. The girls love her and they get to stay in familiar surroundings.
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Dec 6th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Assume from you screen name - Boston! I'm sure they have dog walkers in that big city. Why not inquire whether the walkers will, in addition to walks (3x day) also change water/food and spend some time with her.

Haven't had personal experience myself, as I lost Heather years back - and no didn't get another... too much traveling. But one of my friends was able to find such individuals to do just this for her cats.

Sure cats can be easier than dogs, but maybe one of the "recommended" dog walkers would like a few extra $$$ to spend some time with your daughter. Inquire, maybe you'll luck out.

Let us know what you can find.



 
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Dec 6th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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Hi Boston,
We have an overnight house sitter come and watch the critters,check mail, messages and whatever - he earns a few bucks and we get peace of mind - it's easier than bugging family/friends for us. Do you know a college kid, retired animal lover, someone looking for a change of scenery? The first person we used when we moved here and didn't know anyone was a tech. from our Vets. office.
Good luck;
Sherry
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Dec 6th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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BostonGal,
We got the name of a professional pet sitter from our vet. By professional, I mean that she does this for a living and has training and certification (a former vet tech).

She feeds, plays with, and cleans up after our cats, as well as taking in the mail, watering plants and just generally making sure everything is OK.

At $15 per visit, she is worth every penny to us - the peace of mind is great! Most pet sitters will do lower fees for long-term sitting.
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Dec 6th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I have a dog sitter stay with my dog and cats. She lives in an unfinished house so is happy to have electricity, the dish network, computer etc. and I give her a couple hundred dollars when I get back. My weird, spoiled rotten dog didn't adjust too well last trip, spent most of the time under the house or out in the greenhouse. Leslie, my housesitter only saw her a couple of nights when my dog graced her with an appearance. She did come out for dinner every night and was more than happy to see me when I returned
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Dec 6th, 2005, 02:56 PM
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Hi BostonGal,

I am fussy where my dog goes and while family would do, I do not trust them as much as paying someone to do it, so I have a standard poodle who is 9, and she goes to a kennel that has a new house on it, that house 6 dogs inside and she stays in there, there is someone in the house all day and she has a bed and a tv and I feel a lot better knowing exactly where she is! It is expensive, but knowing what I pay for my hols, it is the least I can do for her.

Kaye
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Dec 6th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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BostonGal, I think if you do a Google search that you will find some very nice doggie resorts in the Boston area, if Boston is anything like Los Angeles. Well, that is probably a bad analogy because Boston is probably nothing like Los Angeles, but it is still worth a shot.

The way I do it is with a live-in dog nanny/housekeeper, whether I am traveling or not. The only difference is that when I am traveling, she works three weeks straight, instead of five days a week, but the tradeoff is that she gets all that overtime and she doesn't have two humans to also clean up after!

My other four dogs earn their keep and work/live at our Alzheimer Care homes, although they have organized themselves into a canine labor union and refuse to be split up between homes (there are three homes located on the same street within two blocks of each other). Instead, the four of them constantly walked off the jobsite at one home or another and all decided that they would only work TOGETHER, all four of them, in their favorite of the homes!
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Dec 6th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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BostonGal,

I found the following, but, wow, is it expensive at $100 per night!

http://www.yankeedogretreat.com/reservations.html

It looks like a great place...maybe you could negotiate a big discount for a long term stay. If not, you can hire a full time human for those prices!

I would also go to www.craigslist.org
You will be able to find just about anything there. Here are just a couple examples of what I found on Craigslist within about 60 seconds:

http://boston.craigslist.org/pet/116208338.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/pet/116201434.html

Good luck.
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Dec 7th, 2005, 10:58 AM
  #11
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Thank you for all the responses.

Rocco - thanks for digging up the research! But alas, that is more expensive than her current daycare which we could not afford for 3weeks of overnights..

As for hiring someone, I am certainly looking into that, I just need to ensure trust there, plus, my pup needs to be comfortable with the new person around!

I have a feeling that we'll bring her to family in CT - it just makes the most sense.

I'm sure if we lived in the suburbs, it would be easier to find someone to help out, or even stay with someone else who has a dog of their own, but being in the city, it's kind of tough..

Thanks again for sharing!
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Dec 7th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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We are also going to Tanzania for 3 weeks so very early on I started checking out alternatives to our usual kennel - which is about 90 minutes away from us(we are in LA).

It turns out professional house sitters were way more expensive than we could afford but if you can find a student or someone new in town, that works - ask around at your office.

In the end we decided to stick with the kennel - he seems to like it there - always comes home happy and in good condition (I call it the doggy spa).

I would check with kennels not in Boston proper - prices go way down the further away you get and the dogs get to enjoy rural life for a change.

Our place will pick up and deliver him as well, so if we time it right, Toby arrives home just about as we are arriving home from the airport.

good luck.
carol
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Dec 8th, 2005, 02:33 AM
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We have always been lucky in finding people (friends and relatives) to stay in our house. For this visit to Tanzania, we have family friends who are staying in our house from December 27h until we return at the end of January. That left 4 days over Christmas where we will get a pet feeding agency to comein twice a day and feed two out of my three corgis. The oldest and patriarch has just recovered from bladder stones and I'm worried that he could have a relapse and it not be picked up by a visitor. I discussed it with my vet who has invited Teddy to stay for the four days. Of course, it very hot here so having a house with a pool makes it more attractive to stay.
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Dec 12th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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We have a time-share dog. That is 4 of us (two couples) bought one dog. She is with us for a week,then a week with the other family. She has a penthouse apartment and a country estate(sort of). When we travel they have her and when they travel she is our. Has worked perfectly, she is very social,not afraid of stangers, very loving as she receives a lot of love. Think about it. Perhaps you have retired or working friends who want an animal half time. And remember we also share the cost 50/50.
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Dec 12th, 2005, 02:37 PM
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Interesting concept Potter,
I wonder if this could be done with children - perhaps with 8 couples.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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BostonGal - we have a beagle that goes to daycare every other day. When we are out of town, she also does sleepovers (goes home with one of the daycare employees and gets to sleep in their bed!) The important thing is that this is what she is used to.

You mentioned that you were leaning toward leaving her with family who would put her in a crate for the day. Is she used to being in a crate all day? If not, I would strongly urge you to reconsider - a change like this would be very traumatic for a dog, especially since you are not around.

If the daycare is still proving to be too expensive, I agree with the other posters that you should search for a trustworthy person to come "housesit" instead. This would allow your dog to at least remain in her own home.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Whatever arrangements you make--petsitter, friend, family or kennel-- it is wise to try them out for a short trip before your long trip to Africa (or elsewhere). Find some way (have a trusted friend visit to check up on your pets and your house). And do this well before your trip...so you have time to make another set of arrangements --and a backup--if things do not work out. First, it will help get your pet used to the new person or situation...and even more important, you can check out whether the person/arrangements are trustworthy and safe, and delivering what they say they will.

I have had experiences with wonderful petsitters...and OK petsitters. And absolutely horrid petsitters. All came with high recommendations from trusted veterinarians and friends. But you just don't know until you try them. For example, we have had horrid petsitters who :
1) put out a huge bowl of food...then not return for days. If we wanted to do this, we wouldn't have needed to pay for 2 daily one-hour visits!
2) Without permission, bring their own dog to stay in the house (overnight) with our indoor cats--who hate dogs. Our indoor cats ended up with fleas.
3) Suddenly develop an "allergy" to kitty litter that means they cannot clean the litterbox! (This from a professional catsitter! Obviously just an excuse by a lazy petsitter who was "caught" by my trusted and caring cleaning lady.)
4) Worst of all, a professional house/petsitter who decided that friends cats should be allowed outside--against specific instructions by my friend that they must be kept indoors in her absence. I was checking up for her...and discovered this. I managed to get 2 of her 3 cats back in the house, but we couldn't get the 3rd skittish cat back inside until my friend returned early from her trip. Again this was a professional petsitter with good references!! What a disaster.

Furthermore, paying more doesn't necessarily solve these problems-- professional petsitters around here charge $50-$60 per day (for two visits or for housesitting) and that's what these people were paid.

Yes, leaving your beloved pets with someone while you are on extended travel is scary. It's worth it to spend the time and actually check out a petsitter with a test-trip. Think about it this way: how much time did you spend planning your trip and itinerary? How can you begrudge the time it takes to actually check out your pet's sitter?
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Dec 13th, 2005, 04:32 PM
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There is a national organization of Pet Sitters, I always like my sitters to be registered, they end up being like mechanics, if you find a good one you never let them go.

Another option is to check with your vet's office, sometimes they do inexpensive boarding and or partial day care. I certainly wouldn't pick any "college kid" wanting a few bucks, unless they were licensed bonded and insured, remember if they get injured on your property it's your resposibility and you can be sued big time!
I found my wonderful new pet sitter upon referal from a local pet food store: I checked all of her referrals, and with my own's vets office (which she had used as a reference) and called her other customers.. Also, I found a wide variable in price with some sitters charging double what others did.. you need to SHOP around.
Our new gal, was such a terrific sitter, she emailed every day while we were in Egypt.


http://www.petsitters.org/index.cfm
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Dec 15th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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We are 'currently' lucky....but our situation is even more complicated

We have two older small dogs (11 + 12) and one young cat (2) that are in doors. One of the dogs has been diabetic the last 4-5 years and has to have a shot with each meal (am + pm).

The shot is very very quick and easy into the loose skin of his neck....but it isn't an easy thing to find someone to do and kennels charge you extra. So the kennel costs (which we would hate to do since trips are usually more than a week) are very very high.

We also wouldn't want them in a typical kennel for more than a couple of days.

For the last almost two years, my Aunt has been out house/pet sitter. We constantly hold our breath that she is happy doing it and making extra $ because it would be very very hard to find a replacement. Esp since she is here 24/7. Of course paying her adds up to more than a plane ticket sometimes, but she is the perfect solution for us and we really really want her to be happy ;-)

We had a friend's niece a few times and she was great. But now a) she is more expensive, but more importantly b) she would only be here nights/weekends. We work at home, so the animals are used to people being here.

Thanks goodness my Aunt is willing to do it
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Dec 15th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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HorizonBound,

Slightly off-topic but I would appreciate your feedback. I have two dogs who are pretty overweight. Did weight have anything to do with your dog becoming diabetic? Does anyone know if weight is a factor with diabetes in dogs as it is in humans?

Thanks.
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