To the editor:
As I read the Dec. 23 article, "No Room at the Inn," there were some statements made by the veterinarians that I found quite alarming.
Dr. Bradley suggested taking your pet with you when traveling. But I was surprised that she said to not mention your pet is staying with you to hotel employees. What if the pet gets sick on the carpet or a dog starts barking? How do you explain that to the hotel staff?
Dr. Marks does not recommend using a pet sitter as a pet care option. As a professional pet sitter, I must disagree with this. There are many pets who simply don't do well in a boarding situation. By using a pet sitter, the pet can stay at home in its own environment, which results in less stress. The daily routine and diet isn't disrupted and there is no exposure to other animals' illnesses. Pet sitters can also keep an eye on your home and bring in mail, newspapers, water plants, etc.
I am fortunate to do pet sitting as a full-time job and take it very seriously. It is not merely a "money-making project." I am a member of Pet Sitters International and am bonded and insured. I always carry a first-aid kit with me on all visits and have had to transport sick pets to the vet when an unexpected illness occurred.
I was also shocked to read that both veterinarians said it was OK to leave a cat alone for several days with sufficient food, water and litter. Accidents can happen; cats can get sick. What if the cat accidentally knocks over the water dish? What if the cat vomits and gets dehydrated? It may be too late by the time the owner arrives home. Every kind of pet deserves daily attention.
As stated in the article, many pet owners wait until the last minute to make pet care arrangements. Plans need to be made far in advance. This is true for kennels and boarding facilities, as well as pet sitters. Please plan ahead so your pet can enjoy your time away with the least amount of stress.