What families should look for in a pet sitter when planning vaca - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What families should look for in a pet sitter when planning vacations

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RICHLAND, WA - Sometimes families don’t have the option of bringing the family pet on vacation, so they often look into hiring a sitter or kennel that provides quality care for their critters.  

In 2016, consumers across the U.S inquired to BBB about pet boarding and kennels over 114,500 times. Consumers also filed over 100 complaints about boarding facilities, some that alleged problems with billing and treatment of their pet. 

For pet owners looking to hire a professional pet sitter or kennel BBB suggests the following tips: 

·  Get a recommendation. Ask friends, family or a veterinarian if they can recommend a professional pet caregiver. Check out prospective pet sitters and pet boarding & kennels at bbb.org/northwest

·  Get their credentials. Be sure to interview prospective pet sitters to find out what services they provide, their experience and whether they are trained to administer any necessary medications or emergency first aid. Make sure the facility requires all pets to have proof of immunizations and ask about their procedures for flea and tick control. 

·  Get costs upfront. Make sure to ask what the pet sitters fee includes and their payment requirements. Some pet sitters are willing to stay overnight or even do non-pet related chores. 

·  Plan a visit. Have the prospective pet sitter visit the home to get acquainted with the animal. If possible, visit multiple kennels with the family pet and check for cleanliness, safety of the kennels and quality of the conditions.  

·  Get references. Ask the pet sitter for personal references and call them to inquire about the quality of pet care they received and if they were happy with the service provided. 

·  Ask for the pet's schedule. When using boarding a pet, ask how often they are fed, if there's a schedule for indoor and outdoor exercise and how long will they be in their kennels to rest. When hiring a sitter, determine how often they will be around the pet. 

·  Keep in touch. Find out how the facility will keep families updated. Many top-notch facilities offer live webcams so owners can see their pet via their website. Be sure to ask about procedures in case pets have a medical emergency.