Booking six months of pet-sitting services topped the to-do list for a long-term trip my husband and I were taking. We made arrangements for handling monthly fees to our dogs’ care provider, and provided food, medications, treats and toys. When it came to covering the cost of incidentals and supply restocking, the concept of petty cash fell short. From one of our financial accounts, we created a temporary, low-limit credit card — issued in the name of the pet sitter—to pay for minor expenses. Discover also offers prepaid gift cards that work exactly like a credit card. This allowed a more customized dollar amount suited to the length of your trip. (See also: Traveling with Dogs)
Whether you are a caregiver or a pet owner, animal care involves a large number of logistical hurdles. Save money and reduce stress by creating a strategy for covering basic costs, daily care and unexpected events.
Provide a special power of attorney in an extended care situation so sitters can handle serious emergencies in your absence. Organize a master weekly or monthly medication chart with days, times and dosages in digital form so care providers can print or photocopy new sheets as needed. It’s crucial to make medical files and veterinary contact information available. Leave instructions about ordering prescriptions, food and treats. (See also: How to Ship Pets Internationally)
Ask caregivers to keep the lines of communication open and to send informational tidbits. Short video clips, cell phone camera shots and anecdotal e-mails all contribute to feeling connected with furry loved ones. Tampa animal advocate Barbara LaPresti goes the extra mile of writing journal entries to owners from the perspective of the pet, detailing each day’s activities and treats received. Waggle Brothers, which provides affordable day care and long-term pet sitting services, has a web camera that broadcasts real-time images of pets during play time.
Photo Credit: Trek Hound