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Unleashed: While You Are Away

Unleashed: While You Are Away


Picking the right choice for your four-legged friend.

So you are going out of town this summer, what are the choices for your four-legged friend’s care? Friends or family often come to mind first, but if that isn’t an option, what then? Essentially, there is pet resorts/boarding kennels or home pet sitting. What choice is best for you? The big determining factor is your pet. Are they laid back, enjoy the company of people and other dogs, or are they shy and used to being alone? Although only you can determine what’s best for you and your pet, hopefully this information will help with your decision making process.


Pet Resorts:


  1. Staff is trained to notice any changes in your pet throughout the day with the specific job of keeping your pet happy and healthy. Happy pets make happy customers, and happy customers come back.
  2. Accommodations have come a long way from those commonly used cages of the past. Touring the facility you’re interested in is the only way to determine your pet’s comfort.
  3. Group play is the newest option and is usually at an additional fee. First make sure your pet is comfortable with the company of others. Groups can be quite large, so ask questions regarding supervision, such as person-to-pet ratio. I like to compare dogs at play to kids at play ­— someone can always get hurt, so staff training is key for this activity.
  4. In Missouri, pet boarding facilities are required to be licensed by the state and adhere to pet well-being and safety known as the Animal Care Facilities Act. Your facility should have a current license.


  1. With all that excitement and maybe large quantities of dogs, your pet could develop an upset stomach. Changes in routine can be very hard for some dogs, so knowing what your pet is capable of handling is important.
  2. Just like sending your child to school, there are contagious illnesses that can affect your pet. Most illnesses, with the help of current vaccine protocols, can be mild. This is a conversation to have with your veterinarian.
  3. Let’s face it, no matter how fun and comfortable it is, it’s not home.

Pet Sitting:

There are pet sitters who will stay at your house, but most will be set up on some sort of daily visit schedules. Most charge by the visit but here, just like the resorts, referrals and questions are your friend.


  1. Being home is the best.
  2. Specific routines may be easier to follow by a pet sitter than at a resort.


  1. Being home alone is not always the best depending on your pet’s personality.
  2. Getting sick can happen just as quickly at home as it can while boarding, and depending on the sitter’s schedule, might go undetected for a while.
  3. Pet sitting can be a higher expense.
  4. You are giving someone complete access to your home.

Consider your current lifestyle, your pet’s lifestyle and what he or she does during the day. Getting them used to either method early in life will serve you well. Once it becomes a part of their life and routine, the change will be less stressful — no matter which service you use, and you’ll have much better trips knowing your pet is safe and happy.

Josie Mickey

If someone had told me that I would grow up to own a small business and groom dogs, I would have thought they were crazy. I mean, who does that for a living? Well, for the past 20 plus years, I have been doing exactly that and have enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.   As the owner of The Pet Fair, I love perfecting my craft and building a trust worthy home away from home for our resort guests.

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