The Business Traveler’s Guide to Owning a Pet | Business travelers often long for companionship, and what better companion can you have than a loving pet whose greatest thrill is seeing you come home? Frequent business travels don’t necessarily mean you have to give up your dream of owning a pet. But there are several important considerations for you, your job, and the adorable love you bring into your life. Here’s the ultimate business traveler’s guide to pet ownership.
Can You Realistically Care for a Pet?
Just like opening that box from Amazon and realizing that the shirt you purchased is a dim replica of what you envisioned when you clicked “Buy,” sometimes owning a pet when you travel all the time can be disillusioning. Take some time to visually walk through a week of your life with a pet. What will you do when you come in exhausted and they’re ready to play? How will you handle flight delays when the sitter has an obligation and has to leave? Make sure your vision of pet ownership matches reality. Consider some options to owning a pet. For example, you can pet sit for another friend sometimes, so that you get snuggle time without feeling guilty when you have to leave. Or, you can volunteer with the local pet shelter, or adopt a pet for a local child in need, and visit sometimes. Just be sure that your life is conducive to pet ownership before signing up for the job.
What Kind of Pet Best Fits Your Lifestyle?
Would you prefer a dog to walk and wrestle with when you’re home? Or a cat who’s basically self-sufficient for a few days at a time? Can you afford to board your dog during your trips? Would it be best to adopt an older dog, or raise a puppy who can learn to adapt to your lifestyle? Also, consider some alternatives to cats and dogs, such as ferrets, rats, aquariums, hamsters, gerbils, or reptiles (lizards and snakes). There is an amazing variety of pets that aren’t the traditional cat-or-dog option, but still bring love and joy to their owners!
Training is the Key to Making Pet Ownership Work for Business Travelers
Most people do settle on a cat or dog, and if you choose a dog, training is essential. Training will help the dog connect with you, learn to anticipate your schedule and adapt well to interruptions in the normal routine. Plus, you’ll have a much easier time boarding your dog or getting someone to agree to pet sit if your canine is well behaved. Both puppies and grown dogs benefit from solid training, and there are several options available. Business travelers might prefer doggie retreats, where the dog spends several weeks in intensive spa-like training. Or, you can take a dog training seminar and go it DIY. Alternately, you and your dog can meet with a trainer, either one-on-one or in a group, and enjoy the bonding and training experience together while you’re in town.
Can You Take a Pet With You When You Travel?
A well-trained dog (and many well-behaved kitties) can go along with you on all or most of your business trips. Many hotels and motels have pet policies in place to allow you to bring Fido or Fluffy. Be sure to invest in all of the essentials, including an FAA-approved pet carrier (preferably one you can use as a crate in the hotel), travel food and water bowls, automated feeders for when they’re left solo for long periods, toys to keep them comfortable and entertained, and treats to reward good behavior. Many pet owners alternate between boarding their pets and bringing them along, giving the dog a wide variety of entertaining and enriching experiences.
What are Your Options When They Can’t Tag Along?
There will almost certainly be times when you can’t bring your pet with you, and that’s okay, because there are tons of safe, secure, rewarding options. When you use the same boarding facilities all the time, your pet will come to expect it. They will even bond with the workers and look forward to their visits! Most facilities also offer additional services, such as grooming, so that you can return home to a dog who’s already had his bath and is ready to snuggle! Alternately, you can have a pet/house sitter, or hire a dog walker to visit your pet frequently while you’re away. Just beware of pet sitters you don’t know personally — there are too many scams out there on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other public sites. Cat owners can often get by with a couple of litter boxes and an automatic feeder, if the business trips aren’t too long. Petcams are another excellent option, allowing you to keep an eye on your beloved pet while you’re away. Many even allow you to talk to them and interact with them right through your smartphone.
Be Prepared for Emergencies While You’re Traveling
Flights get delayed. Clients take longer than they should. Pet sitters get sick, and the next-door neighbors have to suddenly leave town to care for a family member. The bottom line is, you should always have contingency plans, whether you bring your pet along or leave them at home with caregivers. The ideal situation is a professional (not in someone’s backyard) pet boarding facility, with a staff of trained and experienced pet caregivers who will love your pet just like you do. There are several advantages. First, if one worker gets sick and can’t make it in, they have a full staff of other workers, so your pet won’t go without! Second, they are able to train your pet, not just “pet sit”. Third, they have access to veterinary care in case your baby gets ill while you’re away.
Last, but not least, these people aren’t just “in it for the money”. They have dedicated their lives to taking care of animals! For the pet boarding options every seasoned business traveler needs, visit Just Happy Hounds today.
Just Happy Hounds, LLC – Midtown – where we make sit happen!
We’re located at 2222 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35233
your premiere dog fraternity providing doggie daycare, dog boarding, dog grooming and dog training.
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