Going away for 3 months. Pet Sitter or Boarding? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 06-23-2014, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Going away for 3 months. Pet Sitter or Boarding?

I will start travelling between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii starting April 2015.

I have my home in Hawaii where I live with my 90-lb GSD "Ruger" and my cat. I also have a condo in Virginia.

After 7 years in paradise, I am having to back to work in Virginia and I hope to spend 2-3 months at a time back at my home in Hawaii (2-3 months in winter, 1-2 months in summer) between contract work.

The quarantine laws and high cost of bringing pets between Hawaii and the mainland makes it hard for me to do unless I'm going to stay in Hawaii for more than 3 months.

My question is: For a 2-3 month period, is my dog better off in Virginia with a pet sitter who comes by the condo once a day for 30 minutes and takes him for a walk and feeds/plays with him, or is he better off boarded at a kennel? I also have family in the area who would probably spend a day or two a week with the pets and I could probably convince a few of my pet-friendly friends to stop by and visit the pets too, in addition to the sitter.

In Hawaii, I have a nice home, friends, and ties to the place where I've lived for 7 years, so I want to come back whenever I can, but I can't realistically bring my pets back and forth.

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Old 06-23-2014, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Imho animals are always better off in their own home. In a lesser of the evils kinda way. Your lifestyle sounds wonderful, but maybe hard on your animal(s)???
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Imho animals are always better off in their own home. In a lesser of the evils kinda way. Your lifestyle sounds wonderful, but maybe hard on your animal(s)???
I agree. I will try and keep my trips back to Hawaii away from my pets to 2 months or less. Maybe I could do (4) 1-month trips instead of (2) 2-month trips back to Hawaii if I get breaks between contract work.

I have a house in Hawaii, very close friends, my church which I love, and a lot of ties to Hawaii. But after 7 years in the #1 worst state to make a living, I have run out of money and need better healthcare, and have to go back to the mainland for work and for my health.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would have a pet sitter come in. But waaaay more than once a day!!! They need to be walked at least 2-3 times a day. And they need companionship.

If it's a nice condo, maybe you can find a house sitter. That stays at your home. They live in your home. This is what I do for friends.

That said. Paying someone to take care if your dogs for months at a time is probably gonna be more expensive than traveling with them.


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Old 06-23-2014, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Find someone to house / pet sit. If you keep your pets in Hawaii I will gladly pet sit them lol.
IMHO I think having a fur babysitter is the best option. Maybe a student would do it.

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Old 06-23-2014, 10:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Paying someone to take care if your dogs for months at a time is probably gonna be more expensive than traveling with them.
The cost breakdown for ROUND-TRIP between the mainland and Hawaii:

$1,700 United Airlines pet-cargo (dog+kennel, cat+kennel)
$ 330 Hawaii quarantine direct-release (x2 pets)
$ 500 Vet check-in at airport (x2 pets)
$ 200 ~Vet checkup/paperwork before returning to Hawaii
-----
$2,730

The daily rate for a pet-sitter to come to my condo for 30-minutes a day to walk/feed/play is $21 for x2 pets.

This works out to 130 days for the break-even, or IOW, 4 months. Anything over 4 months and I'm better off cost-wise to brings the pets with me. Under 4 months, cost-wise the pets are better staying in Virginia.

But no way I want to be away from my pets for that long, so I'm saying 2 months max. If I can, I will try to only be away for 1 month at a time, 4x times a year.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Find someone to house / pet sit. If you keep your pets in Hawaii I will gladly pet sit them lol.
IMHO I think having a fur babysitter is the best option. Maybe a student would do it.

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That's a good suggestion and may work out for both parties. I may be able to find someone who would enjoy a free home, all utilities included, in exchange for staying in my house and caring for my pets for 2 months. I would have to be very sure of the person!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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But that 21 bucks a day is only for 1 visit a day. Your dogs need a lot more care and attention than that!!!! They can't go 24 hours in between potty breaks. That's just cruel. And to be alone for 23 1/2 hours a day is also cruel. Someone needs to come by at least 3 times a day and spend at least an hour with them. And to be honest, that's not enough either.


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Old 06-23-2014, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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house/pet sit is the way to go
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh come on!!! We all know you're going to bring them with you.....


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