While Owners are Away, Do Critters Play?

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I recently went on a trip to Destin, Fla. Being an avid traveler, this is my fourth trip via plane just this year, all very different in nature.

I’ve been on a two-week tour of Eastern Europe, to Traverse City, Mich., to Spain and now to Destin. These varying holidays all had one thing in common—Maddux sadly was left behind.

My best friend and her family have three dogs, and I am fortunate enough to have them all as sitters when I go on vacation.

This time around another friend and her family (which includes three children who wore him out!) graciously took on the five-day tornado that is my dog.

I am lucky to have plenty of friends in the area to take on the task. But, what does one do if he or she doesn’t have that luxury?


Maddux was highly socialized as a young pup, taking puppy classes at PetSmart and going to the Watering Bowl doggy daycare when I worked outside of the home, but he is not a cage lover no matter who is around.

It gives him high anxiety, and even for the short time the groomer has him in a cage, I can hear him barking on the other end of the phone, dying to be free. So, we don’t kennel/board in our house.


For those who are OK with kenneling, The Watering Bowl now offers overnight boarding as well, and there are plenty of other kennels that offer long-term boarding.

The Watering Bowl just opened their second location on Hanley, and I have never had anything but an extremely pleasant experience with them.

My advice on looking into a new kennel is to do your homework in class. Don’t just look them up online and call them.

Tour, tour, tour. Make sure Fido is happy and comfortable there, and even ask if you can do an overnight trial to see how things go.

What kennel do you recommend?


Another option, which I personally love since I have been a pet sitter for six years, is to hire an in-home pet sitting service.

Most services offer day and night visits, and not just for dogs. I’ve heard time and time again that cats are OK for long periods of time, just fill their bowls up high and they are self-sustaining.

However, not cleaning out a litter box and not being social with Furry for an entire week is not optimal for human’s best feline friend. Most day/night visits can be purchased in half-hour or hour-long increments, and most services offer mail pick-up, plant watering and more. Have you ever used a pet sitting service?


When I was a pet sitter, I performed 12-hour overnight stays in my clients’ homes. I have sat for dogs, cats, gerbils and even chinchillas.

Having a loving friend in their home to cuddle with at night is not only affordable (in most cases competitive with kennel rates) but it gives you, the owner, peace of mind that while you are away playing, your furry friend is on vacation, too.

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