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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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
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$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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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I used sitter company once and came home early. There was poop all over the kitchen , no food or water. I just had one small dog back then. Id never do that again. Now I entrust a family member to stay at my home. I make sure to stock up the fridge with food they like. I also give them internet access etc. Havent had issues since.
 

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Well, now I may have to consider the option I was least in favor of -- renting out one of the bedrooms in my Virginia condo to my sister so that when I go to Hawaii, I can entrust my pets to my sister. She's going to be looking for a place to move to soon, and she loves animals and will do a great job walking the dog. I was trying to avoid having someone live with me, I like living alone. Well, I may have to consider this option especially if I decide to go to Hawaii for more than 1 month.
 

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I am totally confused now...
 

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Well, now I may have to consider the option I was least in favor of -- renting out one of the bedrooms in my Virginia condo to my sister so that when I go to Hawaii, I can entrust my pets to my sister. She's going to be looking for a place to move to soon, and she loves animals and will do a great job walking the dog. I was trying to avoid having someone live with me, I like living alone. Well, I may have to consider this option especially if I decide to go to Hawaii for more than 1 month.
Uh, yes........I would give her rent in lieu of caring for your pets. That is a no brainer. It may be all nice to "live alone"...Honestly, I don't know what that is like since 1979 :). It has either been a husband, husband + kids, husband + kids + friend or family member
 

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Agree - if you trust your sister to look after them that would be ideal. She would (I assume) be home often enough to properly care for and exercise the animals, as well and provide them companionship. It would also take a lot of worry out of your trip, knowing they are all ok.

I would offer to trade her free rent for those months in exchange for pet care.
 

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What city is your condo located in?

Does your dog get along OK with other dogs? Is he people friendly?

Right now I have an ancient, blind foster dog that does not get along with male dogs. I cannot imagine that he will still be with me by April 2015. After his demise (he has been a foster for almost five years!) I plan on doing some pet sitting to make extra cash now that I am retired. My own GSDs all get along pretty well with other dogs. I hit the dog park in Reston with one of my own female GSDs on a daily basis. We also take long walks down by the Potomac River pretty frequently.

Perhaps we could work something out. I am one of the founders of Virginia German Shepherd Rescue so I could give you more references than you would ever need to feel comfortable.
 

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I strongly advise having your sister stay at your place or hiring a petsitter who comes more often. That said, to be honest, since your dog has a high prey drive and has to be constantly reminded not to go after cats, and you have only had him for four months, I think you are setting yourself up for a horrific disaster if you don't bring one of them with you. I personally wouldn't trust a pet sitter or a family member to prevent a catastrophe if I'd just gotten a dog with a high prey drive and had a cat.
 

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I wouldn't do boarding for more than a few days for a dog..
Its super stressful on dogs.. They can get sick, stressed, sick from being so stressed, bad things can happen and the kennel wont tell you unless its something you will notice or even if you might notice they may not tell you, etc. (i've been around of the kennel business to know, i've seen it all)

Definitely house sitter!!!!
 
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