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Holiday Pet Care Tips

dogxmasNow is a good time to consider the best way to ensure good care for your furry friends while you’re away.

With Winter and Spring Break travel a reality this time of the year, many pet owners are planning for pet care while they’re on vacation. For owners uncomfortable sending their pets away during the holidays, in-home pet sitting is a great alternative to kenneling.

With this option, pets maintain the familiarity and comfort of their own home environment, experience less anxiety, have fewer health risks and benefit from more personal attention. And since the cost is comparable to kennel boarding, in-home pet sitting is a viable alternative.

As a pet care operator, caring for pets is my passion and nothing makes me happier than making sure all pets are cared for, played with and loved. When pet owners can’t be there for their pets, in-home pet sitting gives them peace-of-mind and knowing that their pets are given the love and attention they deserve while they are away.

10 Tips
Despite conventional thinking, not all pet care services are alike.
I’ve outlined 10 tips that I consider to be the cardinal rules of picking a pet sitting service. If a pet owner takes these relatively simple things into account before they entrust their beloved pet to an animal sitting service, they can enjoy peace of mind that their pet will be well cared for. Be sure to:

  1. Confirm the service is a current member of Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest organization for professional pet sitters.
  2. Diligently check all of the company’s references – at least three should be voluntarily provided.
  3. Ensure the company is licensed, bonded and insured.
  4. Confirm that your sitter has undergone a criminal background check and has received proper training.
  5. Pre-interview sitter with your pet(s) present to observe interactions and establish a comfort level for both you and the pet(s).
  6. Ensure the company offers seven-day per week phone and e-mail availability.
  7. Clearly state how you would like the sitter to use his/her visit time in terms of walking, playing, feeding, cleaning, etc.
  8. Provide veterinary and other emergency contact information and gather all necessary supplies, including food, vitamins, treats, and a leash, in one central location.
  9. Ensure the sitter can accommodate both your desired vacation schedule, including busy holidays, and the pets daily feeding and walking schedule.
  10. Ensure company has backup measures in place should your sitter have an emergency that prevents them from completing your assignment.


sue2Sue Cashin is the general manager of Fetch! Pet Care of McHenry. She has one five-year-old yellow lab (Wrigley) and nine rescue cats. She offers in-home pet care services in the McHenry County area. She can be reached at 815.669.4296 or

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