If your pet is as much a part of your mobile family as ours, you probably go everywhere together. Our dog Wyatt is rarely left behind but recently when making plans to attend a friend’s wedding, we had to make a tough decision: since the wedding festivities would involve two solid days of non-stop feasting and celebrating with friends, I didn’t want him to be alone in the RV for that much time. Boarding him in a kennel seemed like the best option for his sanity, and ours.
However without a home base, it can be a nerve-wracking experience to find good day care and overnight boarding for full-time RVing dogs and cats. Thankfully the growth of America’s pet industry has resulted in some creative and convenient options for finding high quality, safe pet care for full-timing animals.
If you have a dog that plays well with others in any new environment, the website Rover.com connects reputable pet sitters who will watch your dog in their home. While rates compare to traditional boarding facilities, the upside of this type of care is your dog won’t spend all day in a kennel. The website lists pet sitters all over the U.S. who share detailed information about their household and services to help you decide if their home is right for your dog. Many of these pet sitters have other animals in their household, which turns your dog’s boarding experience into a non-stop party. However since our Wyatt is picky about who he spends time with, we decided Rover.com isn’t an option for him.
Nationwide Boarding Kennels
Nationwide pet boarding franchises can bring peace of mind to roaming pet parents in need of overnight care. From play times to operating hours, these kennels have as much consistency in their services as any Holiday Inn or Hyatt hotels. Although rates can vary by location, you’ll know exactly what kind of pet care to expect when you choose a nationwide provider. Another big advantage in choosing a franchised facility is your pet’s records and health history will usually transfer to any location.
When we board Wyatt, we choose a traditional dog kennel by opting for a PetSmart PetsHotel – but not before going to Yelp.com to scan customer reviews of each location we’re considering. Once satisfied with the PetsHotel’s feedback, we’re able to leave him and feel good knowing he’ll receive good, safe care. When he’s there, Wyatt receives structured playtime and treats (at an extra cost besides the boarding fee) and always comes home a happy and tired dog.
Another emerging national pet boarding franchise operation is Camp Bow Wow, which differs from traditional boarding in that they provide an “all-inclusive” vacation experience including treats, indoor and outdoor playtime. Camp Bow Wow requires a pre-visit interview with your dog to ensure that this type of environment is a good match for his or her personality, but your dog’s evaluation results will transfer nationally to any facility.
Whatever option you decide to use, your dog will need complete, up-to-date vaccinations at least 48 hours in advance of visiting the facility. And before you choose one, remember to follow the American Kennel Club’s suggestions for finding a kennel or sitter:
? inspect for cleanliness and an odor-free environment
? make sure the play area is securely fenced
? ask to see the sleeping quarters
With so many ways to research pet care providers in the U.S., there’s no reason to leave your beloved dog or cat home in the rig all alone. Now you can easily locate top-notch pet sitters no matter where your travels take you.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.