Q: I don’t want to board my pets at a kennel. Will my exchange partner take care of them
Pet exchange, like car exchange, is an option you are able to select when searching for your next swap. While it’s likely that you’ll find it easier to swap with a fellow pet owner, it’s always possible that another member without a furry friend at home would love to take care of yours (or be happy for you to bring your pal along for the adventure). HomeExchange.com members care for each other’s dogs, cats, hamsters, even chickens! Here are some tips for setting up shop before you leave your pet in the hands of your exchange partner:
- Leave a detailed info sheet with your vet’s address and phone number, the contact information for a friend who lives nearby and is familiar with your pets, and feeding info.
- Does your cat hate tummy rubs? Make sure to include that information to avoid accidents.
- Label all food clearly, and include measuring scoops for easy feeding time.
- Make sure to list any allergies your pet might have, and what to do if he accidentally gets a hold of something he’s not supposed to eat.
- Leave toys, leashes, and treats in a basket so that everything’s in one place.
Taking care of pets can actually add to the experience.
“I exchanged my apartment in Venice Beach, California for an apartment in a palazzo on the Grand Canal in the real Venice Italy. It came with Leopoldo, an energetic, enchanting Jack Russell Spaniel, who needed walks twice a day. So, when we set off each morning everyone stopped to talk to the gorgeous Leo, and then, as an afterthought, to me. I made new friends in Venice I would never had otherwise met. Locals thought I was Italian and warmly welcomed me and Leo.”
Some things to consider before committing to care for another Member’s pet:
- Are you planning on staying at the home every night or using it as a jumping off point for nearby locations? A cat might be able to stay by itself overnight, but most dogs need someone at home with them.
- Will you be able to spend time walking a dog a few times per day? If not, does your exchange partner have a dog walker you can hire?
- Are your children comfortable with animals? A one-way pet exchange can be a great way to find out of your family is dog-compatible, but make sure the kids won’t be scared of a pet that they don’t know.
A pet exchange is a great way to feel even more at home while you’re away…you might still miss your pup, but having another one to snuggle with on the couch will certainly help!
Do you have any pet exchange tips to share? Tell us in the comments!