Home Swap Tips for Pet Owners

1. Pet Exchange

Yes, it’s true. People exchange their home, their car, and sometimes their pet. Taking care of somebody's pet can be a challenge but also a very rewarding experience. Does it have any special requirements, does it get along well with kids, do you need to take it for daily walks, etc? Always ask for the name and contact information of the local veterinarian.


2. Boarding Kennel

When pet owners go on vacation, kennels are a traditional choice of pet care. The average kennel customer boards their dog about four times a year. To select one, ask you’re your friends or veterinarian for kennel recommendations and then visit a few personally. Use your own animal instincts to determine the best one: is it clean, is the staff friendly, do the boarded animals appear safe and happy? Some kennels even have web cams; it’s fun to watch your pet online and you’ll feel good knowing he’s safe and happy. Check with your city or county to ensure that the kennel is licensed and registered. 


3. Take Your Pet with You

In one-third of households surveyed, dogs go along on family vacations, whereas 11% bring kitty. Our Members note on their home’s Listing if pets are allowed to visit their home. If your home exchange partner has marked Pets Allowed then you can consider the idea of taking Fido with you. But it’s still a good idea to e-mail your home swap partner with pertinent details about your pet: breed, weight, age, etc. If they confirm that you and your pet can vacation in their home then let the pet travel research begin! Always ask if other pets live in the home. You want to ensure that peace reigns in the animal kingdom. 

4. Your Pet Stays at the Home of a Friend or Pet-Sitter

Family, relatives or friends can come to your aid when planning a vacation. Be sure to discuss your pet’s routine with your friends: eating, sleeping, exercise, location of pet bed etc. 

Anytime you leave your pet with someone else ensure that the caregivers have the name and contact information of your veterinarian, including a map of how to get there. Alert your vet about your travel plans and ask her what documentation she needs to care for Spot or Fluffy in case of an emergency while you’re away. My vet keeps my credit card information on file and the cell phone numbers of both my husband and me. Provide the caregiver with your pet’s typical food, water bowl, a few pet toys, and leash. Your pet will feel more at home with familiar items.