Using Skype to Check in With Pets When You’re Away
Our Pet Brand Ambassador Paris Permenter loves her furry friends, but being an in-demand speaker and successful author means she often has to leave them behind when she travels. Keeping in touch and checking on how they’re doing isn’t a problem though—she just starts a Skype video call.
Sure, we might write “Wish you were here” on postcards or in a text while we’re traveling, but that sentiment is really true when it comes to missing our pets when we’re on the road. I travel with our two dogs whenever I can—but that’s not always possible.
And, regardless of how pet-friendly the destination is, the cats never join my travels. Our four cats, like most felines, are definite homebodies.
But out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. I check on our pets whenever I’m on the road without them. It’s quick and easy with Skype.
But even when we’re both traveling and we have a pet sitter staying in our home, we use Skype to stay in touch with our four-legged family members. Setting up a pre-arranged call time with the pet sitter, we call in and make sure all’s going fine in our absence. Professional pet sitters, more than ever before, now expect to stay in touch with pet parents who are traveling. While many routinely email photos and daily updates, most are happy to hop on a Skype video call as well. As with many topics covered in pre-trip interviews with a new pet sitter, be sure to bring up the topic when you’re interviewing potential pet sitters.
We make it easy for the sitter—and more fun for us—by providing treats to be distributed during the call. It’s nice to call and get an update on the pets when traveling, but it’s extra special to be able to see them (and often interact with them) over Skype.
One question many pet lovers have asked me is “will it upset my pet if I talk with him over Skype?” Like so many things with our pets, that depends on the individual. Some pets may become confused when hearing your voice or seeing you on the screen. Some will enjoy the sound of your voice. Others will treat a Skype session much like many pets view TV programming… something that’s on but not really of interest to them. It’s always best to do some pre-trip trial runs, checking to see if talking with your pet over Skype agitates him or not.
What if you are not using a pet sitter but you’d like to check on your pets? Whether your dogs are home by themselves while you’re out on a day trip or your cats, birds, fish, or small pets are alone for a weekend, it’s always good to check in. Pets in a fixed place—birds, fish, hamsters, gerbils, snakes and more—are easy to check via Skype, simply by situating the computer near their habitat.
Nothing, however, beats knowing your pet’s routine and setting up Skype near that favorite place. We’ve trained our dogs to “settle” on roll-up Kurgo Wander Beds. When we’re not around, they routinely return to their mats that can be placed near the computer. We know that from 10 a.m. -noon and generally 2 -5 p.m., our dogs are napping on those mats, perfect for checking in with them if we’re out for the day!