The best person to watch your Chihuahua in your absence is a close friend or relative. A Chihuahua is most comfortable in his own home. If that is not possible, consider either a kennel, house sitter, or day care. Boarding kennels, reputable pet sitters, and day cares all require that your Chihuahua be licensed and current on vaccinations, which includes rabies, the 4-1, and bordetella.
Nearly all boarding kennels and daycare owners have websites that post their requirements, fees, location, etc. If your Chihuahua has special needs, convey them before leaving. For example, if your dog is anxious around strangers, tell the sitter so that whoever it is can take precautions such as entering your home with treats. Also, let any facility or person know whether your Chihuahua takes medication.
If you’re looking to hire a pet sitter:
- Ask a friend, relative, coworker, veterinarian, dog owner, or groomer for a recommendation.
- Meet the sitter before you finalize vacation plans. After all, you are giving this person access to your home and to your beloved Chihuahua. The sitter has to be trustworthy and good around dogs. If the first meeting does not feel right to you or your dog, consider other arrangements. There’s probably a reason for the unease.
- Request at least two references and call them.
- Find out how long the sitter has worked with dogs.
- See whether the person is bonded and insured.
- Find out if she is a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) or Pet Sitters International (PSI).
To find a reputable boarding kennel, do the following:
- Ask a friend, relative, coworker, veterinarian, or groomer for a recommendation.
- Visit the kennel and ask to inspect the premises. If the owner says no, continue looking.
- Make sure that the place is clean and the animals seem comfortable. A fresh smell is an indication that waste is picked up regularly.
- Get a confirmation on price and services in writing. Ask what the kennel’s emergency plans are and ask for references.
- Leave a trusted contact to care for your Chihuahua in the event of a crisis.
- Call during your absence to check on your Chihuahua’s status.
- Ask whether the facility is a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association (ABKA), the national trade organization.
- Ask whether complaints have been lodged against the kennel with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the consumer services division of the state attorney general’s office.
- Make sure that the staff is courteous and friendly.
Day care is an option only if you will be gone for the day. Most day cares do not board overnight.