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When a Planner’s Away, Where’s the Pooch Stay?

For those of us whose pets are family members, finding a good pet sitter is key to peace of mind while we’re on the road.

I used to have it so easy. I had a friend the next town down who would keep our dogs when we were traveling and, if she couldn’t do it, my parents are just a two-hour drive away, and they love their granddogs. Times change, though. My friend moved from Massachusetts to Michigan, and my parents can’t really keep up with the exercise needs of a youngish Australian shepherd these days. 

So I was thrilled to find the perfect pet sitter via a referral from a friend. Mango loves Sandi, and Sandi loves to walk/hike/mountain bike for miles and miles a day with pups in tow. So Mango comes home happy, healthy, and usually a few pounds lighter after being in Sandi’s care. But it’s not always easy to find the right sitter for your special buddy, especially if you’ve just moved to a new area or your circumstances change, like mine did.

So planners, if you have an inkling that your attendees may belong among the 68 percent of U.S. households that include pets, one super-thoughtful thing you could do is include a link to Pet Sitters International’s free online directory of professional pet sitters. PSI also has some handy tips on how to select the right sitter for your pet, a pet sitter interview checklist, and other resources that those in need of these services may find useful. It would be an especially nice pass-along if you ever get wind that an attendee is planning to bring their animal with them, because no family member should be stuck in a hotel room for hours on end while their person is off conferencing.

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