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What to do with your pets after a home disaster?

By Nathan Guss|6 min|May 2023

When disaster strikes and you find yourself displaced from home, you’re probably concerned about what to do with your beloved furry companions. Fear not, pet parents! This guide unveils strategies and practical tips to ensure the safety and comfort of your pets when you temporarily need to leave home.

Sometimes life throws a curveball that leaves you temporarily without a place to call home. But what about your faithful companions? You can either keep them with you or find a place for them elsewhere. Either way, it’s important to ensure they are well taken care of while your home is under repair. This article explores practical, compassionate solutions. So let’s dive into how to keep them safe, comfortable and happy.

Keeping your pet with you

Keeping a pet with you when you’re displaced offers invaluable companionship and emotional support during a challenging time. From the animal’s perspective, pets form strong emotional bonds with their owners, and they’ll appreciate staying by your side. Furthermore, being separated from their owners can cause distress and anxiety. Unfortunately, many forms of temporary housing, such as hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts, don’t accept pets. Read on for some pet-friendly solutions.

Pet-friendly Hotels

Some of the aforementioned do let you stay with your furry friends. You can find them by searching bringfido.ca.

Accommodations for displaced policyholders

Did you know there is a service that provides temporary accommodations for people who have experienced a home disaster? SiniSTAR offers a wide range of fully furnished and equipped temporary housing options across Canada for people in your situation. Many allow you to bring your pets. When beginning the search, just click on “Pet-friendly” on the page asking you if you have any special needs.

Other solutions

Several other solutions enable you to keep your animal companion with you. Renting a camper or recreational vehicle (RV) offers a practical option that allows you to create a temporary home in your own yard. Camper rentals let you to stay on your property while repairs are underway.

Staying at a campground can also be an excellent choice. Many campgrounds welcome pets and provide amenities, such as designated pet areas and walking trails. But if the weather is too cold or you’re not so fond of camping, these options can be impractical.

What to do if you can’t keep your pet with you?

If none of the above work, you may need to spend some time apart from your pet. Here are the best options.

A friend or relative

Do you have a family member or friend who loves doting over your pet and wouldn’t mind taking care of him or her for a while? Entrusting the care of your animal to such a person can be a wonderful solution. Having someone you and your pet already know and trust can give both of you peace of mind. Don’t forget to express your gratitude for their kindness and support. Consider showing your appreciation by purchasing a heartfelt thank-you gift.

A pet boarding facility

The article “Your dog needs a vacation, too,” which appeared in the Globe and Mail, takes a funny, comprehensive look at animal boarding facilities. Here’s an overview.

The author emphasizes that just like humans, dogs have different preferences and needs when it comes to their vacation experiences. The bottom line is that finding the right boarding solution depends on understanding his or her individual needs.

Traditional boarding kennels

  • Provide private rooms with access to outdoor spaces for bathroom breaks
  • Suitable for dogs with social problems, anxiety, or medical issues

Pros

  • Individual attention
  • Outside walk and play time
  • Affordability

Cons

  • Limited social stimulation
  • Potential stress from barking and howling
  • Risk of illness if cleaning procedures are inadequate

Cage-free or free-range-style boarding

  • Dogs roam and play together in an open setting.
  • Suited for high-energy, well-balanced, socialized dogs

Pros

  • Freedom of movement
  • Social interaction.

Cons

  • Unpredictable dog interactions
  • Elevated stress levels during longer stays
  • Potential for fights and injuries
  • Rapid illness spread

Doggy daycare plus boarding (blended option)

  • Combines dog daycare and overnight boarding

Pros

  • Dogs socialize and play during the day and have their own sleeping area at night.
  • Recommended for high-energy, well-socialized dogs

Cons

  • Fatigue from excessive activity during longer stays
  • Risk of illness or injury

Veterinary boarding

  • Only recommended for dogs needing specialized medical care
  • Typically involves staying at an animal hospital in a cage

The article gives four recommendations for choosing the best boarding option:

  1. Know your pet’s personality and boarding needs.
  2. Visit the facility, assessing cleanliness and staff visibility.
  3. Check for insurance, certifications and licenses.
  4. Ask for references and recommendations from trainers, veterinarians and other pet owners.

ALE coverage

ALE (Additional Living Expenses) coverage is typically a component of homeowners’ or tenant insurance policies. It is designed to help policyholders with the costs associated with extra living expenses when they can’t reside in their home due to a covered loss. In many cases, ALE coverage extends its support to pet boarding facilities. Ask your claims adjuster if you’re covered.

When unexpected circumstances require you to leave home, your beloved four-legged friend need not suffer. Whether you find a pet-friendly custom accommodation, embark on an adventure in a rented camper or campground, or entrust their care to a friend or family member or vetted boarding facility, there are solutions to maintain your animal friend’s well-being. Explore the options and find the perfect fit. Your pets will continue to be an unwavering source of love and companionship wherever life takes you.

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