As summer vacation travel begins, be sure to include the family pets in your vacation plans. Whether you choose an in-home pet sitter or a boarding kennel, Better Business Bureau Serving E. MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) urges you to take the time to find a top-notch facility, as they can book up fast. BBB offers tips to help pet owners choose the best care for their four-legged family members. If you believe your pet would do better in the comfort of your own home, you may want to hire a professional pet sitter. Consider the following tips when choosing a sitter. Recommendations - Ask friends, family, or your veterinarian if they can recommend a professional pet caregiver. Be sure to interview prospective pet sitters to find out what services they will provide and whether they are trained to administer any necessary medications or emergency first aid. Fees and services - Find out what their fee includes and their payment requirements. Some pet sitters are willing to do non-pet related chores, such as bringing in the mail, watering plants, turning lights on or off or even staying overnight. References - Ask the pet sitter for personal references and call them to inquire about the quality of pet care they received and if they were happy with the service provided. Record - Check out any prospective pet sitters with BBB’s Accredited Business Directory. Be sure to read reviews, complaints and important information on their BBB Business Review. Boarding - If you are boarding your pets at a kennel, BBB recommends taking the following steps. Get recommendations from your veterinarian or check with the American Boarding Kennels Association. Check out boarding kennels with BBB’s Accredited Business Directory where you can read reviews, complaints, and more. Visit multiple facilities and check for cleanliness, safety of the kennels, quality of the conditions, and how comfortable the staff is with your pet. Be sure to check that the kennel has sufficient ventilation and lighting. Ask if the kennel is properly licensed. Research your state’s specific animal-to-staff ratio and animal-to- square footage requirements to see if the kennel you are considering meets those requirements. Note the friendliness of staff members and ask about their experience. Be sure to ask if anyone is on the premises overnight. Make sure the facility requires all pets to have proof of immunizations and ask about their procedures for flea and tick control. Facilities may not allow you to drop off or pick up your pet on weekend days which may extend the stay of your pet and increase the cost. Find out how the facility will keep you updated. Many top-notch facilities offer live web cams so you can see your pet via their website. Be sure to ask about procedures in case your pet has a medical emergency.