Pet care options during your vacation

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Are you traveling this summer? Wondering what to do with your pets? You’re not alone.

According to a studynearly three-quarters of Americans plan to travel this summer this year.

A Facebook page helps you find a good pet care match.

Just a week and 500 strong people: Pet Sitters in the Omaha Area. It connects users to a network of pet sitters, boarders, and kennels. You fill out a form with your needs, then the organizers put you in touch with three service providers.

“To be able to offer this one stop shop where you just have to send in your information. Tell me what you are looking for, tell me if you need special care, medication administration or anything like that. We have experienced babysitters in this area,” said network organizer Kristin Holzapfel.

Pet sitters come to your home. This might be best for dogs with anxious personalities, keeping them in familiar surroundings. Another option is traditional kennels.

If you decide to use a kennel, be sure to visit in person. Serina Rieckman, owner of Joyful Paws suggests some questions to ask.

“Is it one person for 50 dogs or one person for 10 dogs? You also want to make sure there will be someone there overnight. Often, commercial kennels don’t have anyone staying there overnight. So you want to ask that. And of course, in case of emergency, what is their procedure? Especially for fires,” she said.

Serina offers in-home pet boarding. This is where you leave your pet with an experienced pet sitter. Often they take on fewer pets, have more time with your dog, and can better meet your pet’s needs, whether behavioral or medical.

A good practice is to be transparent about your dogs and their needs.

“I personally work with dogs that have aggressive behaviors and a history of biting. That’s what I’ve been trained in. That’s what I’m comfortable with. Not everyone will be comfortable with that. And it’s important to make sure that you know nothing is going to happen and that your sitter is experienced in this type of behavior,” Holzapfel said.

Pet experts also say you can’t get much out of text messages, emails, phone calls, and even websites.

Meet and greets are extremely important to ensure that your dog will be comfortable and safe while you are traveling this summer.

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