Pets are a joy to have in the home, and can add fun and companionship to any household! Especially for those living alone, the cliche of pets being best friends can ring very true. However, with the joy comes responsibility. And when it’s time to take an extended trip, figuring out what to do with your furry friend can be tricky. While some might be lucky enough to have responsible friends who can house-sit or check on pets as needed, sometimes a Plan B is in order. If you’re familiar with your neighbors, sometimes leaving your pet with them might be the best option.
Deciding whether to leave your pets with neighbors requires a serious assessment of both your neighbors and your pet. Not all neighbors are responsible enough to properly care for your beloved animal, and some pets may prefer to board at your veterinarian’s office or at another facility. The temperament of your pet is important to consider, as some animals are not as friendly with others as they might be with you. How well you know your neighbor and their character is also paramount when considering whether or not to leave your pet in their care.
The primary consideration when deciding if you should leave your pet with neighbors is your relationship with them. Having more than a passing acquaintance with your neighbors makes it more likely that they will follow your directions for caring for your pet because, if they do not, your friendship might end. If you’re not sure about a neighbor, or don’t know much about them, do not leave your pet in their care! While he or she very well could be a great person, you have no way of knowing without previous evaluation, and it’s not worth taking the risk.
The personality and lifestyle of your neighbors is also important. If your neighbors are rarely home, have a messy house, and are not particularly warm or caring individuals, they might not properly care for your pet. Anyone you entrust the care of your pet to should love animals, be responsible, and be consistently available during the time that you are away. An absentee pet sitter does you no good when you’re away!
Prior to leaving your pet with neighbors, consider your pet’s health, personality and exercise needs. If you have a particularly needy animal, explain this when approaching your neighbor. Make sure that they understand the importance of whatever special needs your pet has. Downplaying or not properly explaining a particular issue your pet has could lead to an unfortunate situation. Some pets might do better during your absence if they are in a pet care facility such as a doggie daycare center or at your vet’s office. Pets that require special medication, food or supervision might find living in a new residence or having a stranger visit them a few times a day unnerving. This is particularly true for elderly pets, which require more attention.
In the end, what’s most important is to make sure that your furry best friend is in the best hands possible. Don’t be afraid to be discerning and particular when deciding who you entrust your pet to! Doing so will afford you peace of mind, and your pet will thank you when you return home!