Pet Basics

How to pick a pet you'll love―and care for it properly once you bring it home.

  • Research boarding options or sitters.Sites such as can help you locate a kennel or pet hotel near you. Find sitters in your area at or through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (
  • If you plan to board your pet, visit your top two or three choices.Tour the grounds and the sleeping accommodations. Ask: What will my pet’s day be like, hour by hour? How much interaction with other animals will my pet receive? Is there an extra charge for individual playtime? How many people will my pet interact with during the day? What will you do if he gets sick? Do you supply food and treats for my pet? Which local veterinarians refer clients to you?
  • If hiring a sitter, interview candidates.Ask whether he or she knows pet CPR (offered at many Red Cross branches), has commercial liability insurance (for accident and negligence coverage), and is bonded (to protect against theft).
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