If you leave town and don't take your pet with you, accommodations should be made for its care while you are gone. Many people turn to neighbors and friends to feed fish, water plants, or take care of a dog or cat for a short bit. Alternatively, the services of professional and casual pet sitters are available.

You have a variety of options. You can decide if you want your pet to be comfortable at home and have someone come by, or if you feel better with them boarded in a kennel, pet hotel, or someone else's home. The differences between professional services and those offered on a more casual basis differ mostly in that the professionals have business licenses, insurance, and are often bonded as well for greater peace of mind. The benefit of using a pet sitter is having your pets be there when you arrive home — no need to go pick them up from a kennel and there is no stress of being in an unfamiliar environment. Reducing the stress your animal experiences produces a healthier, happier companion for you; a well loved animal tends to be a happy animal. Most pet sitters charge $15-20 a visit with up to four visits a day. Some sitters offer overnight service so your animals will not be lonely at night.

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