So, you’ve accepted a travel healthcare assignment! Juggling all the logistics leading up to your start date is a balancing act, especially if you plan to bring a pet along for the ride. What will the new facility be like? How about your coworkers? How will you maintain relationships with loved ones from afar? And so on. With so much on your mind, you may have forgotten about your furry friend and how they will take on your new adventure right by your side. Their main job will be to provide comfort and companionship to you in your temporary home.
Make sure they are well-taken care of while on assignment by seeking accommodations, doing a wellness check in advance, and more. Here are some of our recommendations for keeping a loving relationship with your furry friend while you’re on the clock.
Identifying Your Pet’s Needs While on Assignment
As its caregiver and parent, you know the needs of your furry friend best. Just like we have different preferences and adjust to new settings differently as humans, so do our pets! That’s why it’s critical as a pet owner to think about the daily needs of your pet along with his or her comfort level with transportation and new environments.
If this is your first time traveling or you’re traveling solo, you may not have the same access to help as back home. Perhaps there’s a partner, roommate, neighbor, etc. that normally checks on your pet during a shift. When your support system is not nearby to lean on for extra help, it’s best to be flexible and know your options for local daycares and reputable services!
Within the time that you move and start your first week on the job, your mind will be racing as it adapts to new modules and environments. You can eliminate additional stress by planning ahead!
Not sure where to start? Ask yourself these questions to determine which options best align with your pet’s needs:
- How active is your pet (consider breed and age)?
- How many potty breaks does he/she need?
- Does he/she do well alone? If so, for how long?
- How often does your pet need food and water?
- How is your pet with new people and around other pets?
Pet Hospitality Options for Healthcare Travelers
Just like you would turn to your account manager for guidance, there are plenty of resources for pet care! 12 hours alone can be a lot for any pet. Most likely they will need potty breaks, a walk, or a meal while you’re working. Doing your research in advance is essential, here are some helpful options to explore.
Pet Sitting Facebook Groups
Not only are Facebook Groups a great way to meet people and get in touch with your new community, but to also find pet sitters! If you’re traveling to a medium to large-sized city, in general, you will have access to more resources. Try searching for a pet-sitting group with the city’s location in the title or nearby cities. As always, we recommend doing a meet and greet as a safety precaution and to make sure this setup is a good fit!
Pet Sitting Apps
Find, chat, and book a pet sitter, anywhere and anytime with the help of pet-sitting apps. These apps are on the rise due to a variety of reasons such as user-friendliness, security, in-app notifications, and ensuring peace of mind. You can also save time by hosting a sitter at your place or finding a sitter nearby to board at. Since it’s simple for sitters to sign up, you will have access to a high number of sitters at different pay rates, availabilities, and services. Make sure to check if your app of choice has a discount for first-timers and read caregivers’ reviews before booking!
Rover offers a wide range of services such as boarding, house sitting, drop-in visits, doggy daycare, dog training through GoodPup, and dog walking. The app is trusted around the world and hosts thousands of sitters nationwide. Be sure to check if your assignment city has sitters in that location and always read sitter reviews!
Wag offers everything from walks, overnight stays, drop-ins, and training, to wellness plans. Currently, Wag has caregivers located in 5,300+ cities nationwide! Be sure to check if your assignment location falls into this realm. Want to give back? Wag has partnerships with Great Good Charities and Rescue Bank and donates meals for each walk you book!
Hate the hassle of apps and/or social media? Treat your pet to a vacation with pet boarding! Whatever your furry friend needs, local boarding businesses offer the most extensive list of services. Some healthcare travelers appreciate the overnight stays and boarding offers, while others lean into the daytime options. Including daycare, grooming, and training services to keep their pets entertained while working their shifts.
In addition, boarding facilities sometimes offer packages for multiday visits, making it that much easier for you and your wallet! Another tip for ensuring that your pet is in the best hands possible is browsing social media and Google reviews for boarding facilities.
Don’t have access to big-name boarding services and apps? Try boarding local! Depending on the location of your healthcare travel assignment, you may be unable to find caregivers locally through apps or chain pet stores. If you can’t find anything for these reasons, try checking local Facebook pages to take more of a Ma and Pop route! This is also a great way to support local, you may even find some great deals and meet new people!
Did you know PetSmart has its own pet boarding? PetsHotel offers pets a staycation filled with all the comforts, treats, and playtime that they may need! PetsHotel is open to both cats and dogs and provides grooming, training classes, and more. They even offer first responders a 10% discount on overnight stays. Don’t need to board your pet? PetSmart also offers doggie day camp for full and half-day play! PetSmart has locations nationwide, be sure to check out their website to find one near your next healthcare travel assignment!
Bond With Your Pet on Your Days Off
Moving and starting a new job can be a lot, we get it! The good news is that you have your furry friend to take it on with you. Show them gratitude by making the most of your days off! Not sure where to start? Our Travel Experience team is an excellent resource for you! These individuals are devoted to ensuring your travel experience is enjoyable outside of your working hours. They will help you locate nearby veterinary clinics, dog parks, patio-friendly spots, and more!
Simple things such as cuddles and playtime can go a long way in reminding them how much you appreciate and love them. For dogs, showing your love by letting them burn off some energy is essential. If you have a cat, getting out and about with them can be harder, but don’t fret. Take your cat on the go with options such as bubble backpacks like Travel Cat’s.
Looking for fun things to do with your pet? If you’re traveling with a dog, pup cups at coffee spots are always a fun treat (and give you an excuse to treat yourself to a coffee). Strolling through local pet stores and bakeries is also a great way to get you out and about. Treat your pet to some pet-friendly bakery treats or perhaps some new toys of their choice. No matter how you “treat” your pet, they’ll love the extra time with you!
You’ve checked off the big things on your list when it comes to preparing for your new healthcare travel assignment. But you can’t forget about your wingman or wing woman that’s along for the ride with you! Save time and eliminate stress during your assignment by making arrangements in advance for your furry friend!
Luckily, there is an abundance of resources to ensure your pet is receiving care around the clock! Boarding services, pet care apps, social media, and of course, our Travel Experience team all have your back. So, when you’re ready to explore your healthcare travel options, quick apply and an LRS Healthcare recruiter will be in touch shortly!