Pet requires care while owner travels
Question: I'm taking a trip without my pet; what are my pet care options while I'm away?
Answer: Your options depend on your pet's needs and what type of care you want.
A pet sitter will care for your animal in your home. Familiar surroundings might help ease any anxiety your pet has about your absence. Pets that are overly shy or do not get along with other animals are better off with home-sitting.
A kennel boards your pet away from home, which might be a better option if it needs medical supervision or tends to escape.
Q: How do I find a trustworthy pet sitter?
A: A qualified sitter has had experience with your type of animal, spends quality time with your pet, provides exercise and proper food, and knows how to tell if your pet needs veterinary attention.
Interview potential sitters in your home. Ask for a schedule of when they'll be with your pet, how often they'll walk your dog and if they'll spend the night. If your pet needs medication, ask if the sitter is comfortable administering that. Let your pet weigh in on the decision; introduce it to the sitter and see how they interact.
Request a list of references or clients and contact them. A sitter who has keys to your home should provide written proof that he or she is bonded and carries commercial liability insurance.
Ask your veterinarian, a dog trainer or a friend for recommendations. Pet sitting services are also listed in the Yellow Pages.
Q: How do I find a reliable boarder?
A: Ask the same questions you would of a pet sitter. Find out the amount of exercise and cuddle time your pet would receive, as well as the number of animals assigned per staff member.
Find out if the facility is staffed overnight and its plan in the event of an emergency. Request a tour of the facility.
Many veterinarians board animals for clients. Kennels are listed in the Yellow Pages. Check with the Better Business Bureau (536-6956) to see if complaints have been lodged against a kennel.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.