Planning for the care of a family Pet while on vacation requires a little bit more thought. My dog Theo, is a rambunctious, 75-pound White German Shepherd. I have used kennels, pet sitters and family & friends for dog sitting services. Boarding in kennels offers some perks if you can afford a boarder who offers daily walks, swimming, canine massage and grooming. Other options are Pet Sitters who play a similar role as a baby sitter and will take care of pet(s) in your own home. They will also pick up your mail, water your plants, take pets on walks & dispense medication. A reputable agency can help you find a pet sitter who is licensed, bonded and carries insurance for pet sitters. The other ‘old school’ and most affordable option is to find a family, friend, neighbor or someone you can bake cookies while negotiating a price to watch your Pet(s). I chose leaving Theo with my mother and gave her a few dollars (money) to watch him. Theo did not get a daily walk in the park but my mother let him out in the back yard several times a day and kept his water and his dog bowl full of food. Make sure the sitter is aware of your pet’s personality and any special needs. I also left a few items from home like his favorite toy, blanket and clothes (t-shirt and socks) that had my scent. Whatever ever the option, stay calm and prepare in advance as pets can sense anxiety and emotions when their owner is leaving home. Message from Dr. Nina Healthy Tidbits Newsletter, Vol. 4(2). For more information, check out Sit, stay, go by Laura Amann writer from the Costco Connection. .