My Pet World: Need an alternative to boarding? Try a pet sitter in your own home.

My Pet World

Looking for a rabbit feeder, cat whisperer, dog sitter or walker?

Use code “ANISSR87295” to get $20 off your first booking with Anissa on Rover:

Anissa shown here with Oatmeal.

Courtesy photo

By Cathy M. Rosenthal
Tribune Content Agency

Dear Cathy,

I read the letter from Marge from Riverhead about boarding her dog. It’s sad what happened to her beloved dog. Another option she can explore is Rover. My sister turned me onto them. She used them when she went on a trip and had a very positive experience. I use this service three times per week as my dog needs medications and to be let out and fed at 3 p.m. while I am at work. The Rover person stays for an hour each day, and my dog is great. She would do overnights as well.

If Marge is comfortable having someone stay in her home, this would be a great option where her dog can remain in her familiar surroundings. — Donna, Massapequa Park, New York

Dear Donna,

Finding a great pet sitter or a friend or family member for your pet to stay with are always good options because most pets are happiest remaining in their homes and living their normal routines. I don’t think Marge had any friends or family who could care for her dog, so it would be useful for her to begin developing a relationship with a pet sitter or other caretaker before her next vacation.

I have been lucky to find great pet sitters through the years and often maintain relationships with two to three at a time, so I am never without coverage for my pets.

Having this resource was invaluable when I had to go to the hospital for an emergency overnight stay. I texted my pet sitters from the emergency room, and they coordinated coverage for my dogs and cat until I made it home from the hospital. They were awesome and it kept me from worrying about my pets during my hospital stay

You never know when you will need someone to watch your pet, so it’s always best to find and your resources in advance, both for emergencies and planned trips. By searching long before you need the resource, you can “audition” them (the pet sitter, the friend, the family member, the kennel) to see if they are a good fit for your pet.

It’s much easier for a pet to adjust to their human being gone if they know a pet sitter or have visited a kennel in advance of a trip.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.