Pet sitting options during your vacation

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) — Are you traveling this summer? Thinking about what to do with your pets? You’re not alone.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans plan to travel this summer, according to a study.

A Facebook page will help you find a good pet care match.

Just a week old and 500 people strong: Omaha Area Pet Sitters. It connects users to a network of pet sitters, retirees and kennels. You fill out a form with your needs, then connect the organizers to three providers.

“To be able to offer that one stop shop where you just send in your information. Tell me what you are looking for, tell me if you need any special care, medication administration or anything like that. We have sitters who are experienced in this,” says Kristin Holzapfel, organizer of the network.

Pet sitters come to your home. Keeping them in a familiar environment may be best for dogs with anxious personalities. Another option is traditional kennels.

If you choose a kennel, be sure to visit it in person. Serina Rieckman, owner of Joyful Paws, suggests some questions to ask.

“Is it one person for 50 dogs or one person for 10 dogs? You also want to make sure someone is there overnight. Commercial kennels often have no one staying overnight. So that’s what you want to ask. And of course if there is an emergency, what is their procedure? Especially for fires,” she said.

Serina offers pet boarding at home. There you leave your pet with an experienced pet sitter. They often take in fewer pets, have more facetime with your dog, and are better able to address your pet’s needs, be they behavioral or medical.

A good practice is to be transparent about your dogs and their needs.

“I personally work with dogs that have aggressive behavior and a history of biting. That’s what I’m trained for. I feel comfortable with that. Not everyone will be comfortable with it. And it’s important to make sure you know nothing is going to happen and that your babysitter is experienced with this type of behavior,” Holzapfel said.

Pet experts also say there’s a limit to how much you can get out of text, email, phone calls, and even websites.

Meet and Greet are incredibly important to ensure your dog feels comfortable and safe when traveling this summer.

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About Clayton Arredondo

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