It is a common dilemma pet owners face: What to do with their animals when they travel. Vacations, family emergencies and other circumstances mean not only separation between animal and owner but a disruption in their daily routine.
One solution more than 30 million pet-owners choose annually is to utilize professional boarding services when temporary pet care is needed.
While some owners turn care of their animals over to well-meaning but inexperienced neighbors or friends, these part-time sitters may lack knowledgeable supervision methods, leading to less than satisfactory care.
“Pets are family members and people want the peace of mind, knowing that those members are safe and nurtured by reliable professionals while they are away or at work,” said Nancy Tafralian of Peaceful Hearts Pet Sitting in Flagstaff.
In a report released by the The American Pet Products Association (APPA), it is anticipated that pet services – including boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting and day care – will see the largest growth in 2012 at 8.4 percent, an estimated $4.11 billion in spending.
So, what are some of the options for Flagstaff pets? Let’s take a look:
First up is Kingsmark Kennels, a family owned and operated boarding facility celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Kingsmark started in 1962 as a private kennel and grew into the five-acre commercial boarding facility it is today. Its offerings include high employee to animal ratio, state-of-the-art ID collars to track every dog, over 25 exercise yards, a computer program to maintain meticulous track of guests’ information, shots, medications and reservations. Other offerings:
A pet shuttle service to drop off and pick up pets.
Full grooming salon, including grooming, baths, nails, oil treatment, massage, aromatherapy.
Executive suite with Sealy posterpedic bedding, flat screen TVS and Direct TV.
Kingsmark Kennels prices start at $19 for weekdays, $21 for weekend days and $23 for holidays.
“We also have a reward system that allows you one free day for every ten days that you board,” said owners Rich and Shannon Gottschammer. “They [your pets] will enjoy all the creature comforts of home while making lots of new friends!”
Another option for travel bound owners is Canyon Pet Resort (CPR), located on the west side of Flagstaff. In addition to the indoor kennels and executive suites, CPR offers TLC packages and Doggie Day Kamp for an added charge. These special activities include:
Dogs: a 20-minute walk in the neighborhood adjacent to the kennel, one-on-one attention and a treat from a trained and caring member of the staff.
Cats: petting, holding and play time as well as a special treat. A strategically placed bird feeder provides endless cat entertainment.
“We offer cageless luxury suites, which are actual small rooms with a futon and a half door rather than a traditional kennel run. They do cost more per day,” said CPR owner Cindy McCollum, “but also include going to Doggie Day Kamp or walks, in the daily price.”
For those who feel more comfortable with their furry friend staying in a known environment such as their own home, Peaceful Hearts Pet Sitting Service may be a good choice. Peaceful Hearts in-home pet care got its start in 2001 after owner and operator Nancy Tafralian was diagnosed with cancer.
“The simple yet powerful question of who would I be, and how would I fill my time, if that time was limited, was front and center,” said Tafralian. “To be of service and work from my heart was, and is, of central importance. As a life-long animal lover, it was a natural fit. The cancer went away, but the sense of purpose didn’t.”
Now, seven days a week, her life is filled with purpose, providing a “high degree of personalized service” in clients’ homes for: dogs, cats, birds, fish, rabbits, and other household pets. Services include dog walking, administering medication, plant care, mail pick up, waste removal, pet transportation, and home security checks.
“I have even been known to pick up dry cleaning and return DVDs!” said Tafralian.
To decide whether your pet’s needs would be best met at a reputable boarding facility or by a professional pet sitter, Tafralian suggests looking at the level of exercise needed for your pet, medications/supplements required, in addition to the facility’s or person’s insurance, length of time in business, and references.
“Upon meeting, never discount first impressions and intuitive sense,” said Tafralian. “Will one or several different people be trusted with your pets and home? Will they be able to handle unpredictable situations calmly and efficiently?”
With these questions answered, pet owners are better able to ensure their beloved pets are provided with the most dependable, secure and safe pet care available. And there are several options in Flagstaff. FBN