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Tips for Boarding Your Pets and Finding a Pet Sitter When You Travel

There are many factors to consider when planning an exciting vacation or trip to visit loved ones, but if you’re a pet owner, you know that one of the most important details to plan is how your furry family members will be taken care of while you are gone.

By Carly Kessler | Jun 7, 2024, 10:14 AM

There are many factors to consider when planning an exciting vacation or trip to visit loved ones, but if you’re a pet owner, you know that one of the most important details to plan is how your furry family members will be taken care of while you are gone. Thankfully today, there are many convenient options to choose from to make sure your pet receives the care they need while you travel.


Choosing to board your pet can be a difficult decision as a pet parent, especially if it’s your first time boarding them. Finding the right fit for you and your pet can give you peace of mind while you travel, but where do you begin your search?

A great place to start is with your pet’s veterinarian. Often, vet offices will offer boarding services, and this route allows your pet to be under the watchful care of an establishment you already trust. Additionally, should your pet experience any sort of medical emergency while you are gone, they would already be with their vet to receive treatment quickly.

Other options include doing your own online research on local pet boarding services and reading reviews of other pet parents’ experiences. Utilizing your own network of friends and family members for boarding recommendations can be helpful as well.

Once you’ve determined where you think you would like to board your pet, visiting the facility beforehand to learn more about their caretaking practices can give you better insight on the experience your pet will have during their stay. From there, you will want to get your pet booked for their stay as early as possible to ensure there is adequate room for them.

Leading up to boarding your pet, you will want to make sure they are up to date on any necessary immunizations that the boarding facility requires of its guests. You will also want to portion out enough of your pet’s meals for the time they will be boarded, and it can never hurt to through in a little extra kibble for them as well.

On the day you drop off your pet, make sure you leave your contact information, emergency contact information for someone you trust who is local, and your veterinarian’s contact information.

Pet Sitting

A popular alternative to boarding your pet while you travel is finding a pet sitter to watch and care for them. This option may allow your pet to be more comfortable and relaxed than they would be at a boarding facility. Your pet is also more likely to receive one-on-one care and interaction than they would while being boarded. Finding the right pet sitter also takes careful consideration, though, especially if you choose to have the sitter stay in your home.

Finding a pet sitter has been made easy with several online resources designed specifically for matching pet owners and pet sitters. Organizations such as Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters can be a good way to find a trusted pet-sitting professional. Additionally, websites like and provide convenient access to a database of local pet sitters. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s important to find a pet sitter who meets certain qualifications, such as being trained in Pet CPR and having a business license and client references.

Prior to choosing a pet sitter, you may want to conduct an interview with them to learn more about their pet-sitting approach, and contacting their references for more insight can be helpful as well. Should you choose to have a pet sitter stay in your home, you will want to arrange a time prior to your travels for them to visit your home to learn more about how you would like them to take care of your furry friend and any specific details they should be aware of ahead of time.

Making sure your pet is taken care of while you travel is important, but it’s also incredibly important that you make sure you are taken care of while you are away from home. Designed with pet owners in mind, IMG’s iTravelInsured travel protection plans offer the trip protection benefits and non-insurance assistance services you need to stay safe while traveling the world.

And remember, while the end of an exciting vacation can be bittersweet, you know your pets will be eagerly waiting to give you a warm welcome home.

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