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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Leaving your chinnies alone while out of town

How many of you would leave your chinnies alone while you were out of town? Call me paranoid but I would not feel comfortable leaving my babies home alone even for one day. My friend told me she went out of town and left her chins home alone for 3 days. Alone meaning no one came by to check up on them! To top it off, one of her females gave birth to quads a couple weeks earlier! I told her I would never leave my chins alone no matter how badly I wanted to get out of town. Her response was, "Oh, I gave them plenty of water and food and they were just fine".

I think when you become a pet owner, you become responsible for taking care of them no matter what. This includes forsaking a much needed vacation if you can not find a sitter to take care of them.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 10:49 AM
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I would only leave my chinnie babies alone for that long if I had someone that would be able to properly care for them while I'm away.

Those two people live upstairs. They're my parents. Those are the only two people I would absolutely trust to care for them.

If I'm not able to find someone that can care for them for an extended period of time, I would not leave them.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 10:59 AM
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I have left my chins for a few days before, but I have a very good friend who is willing to do everything necessary for them in my absence. She will feed, water, play with and even clean cages if we are gone long enough. I also supply her with the vet credit card so that if something were to happen, she can take the chins into the vet without worry of how it's going to get paid for. The vet has it on file that I've given authorization for her to use my credit card for emergency situations. Since I taught her everything I know and have everything written down including what signs to look for in most common illnesses and injuries, I'm confident in her ability to handle just about anything. I also leave her with numbers for chin experienced breeders within our state, the vet, and how to get a hold of me. I also leave her with my computer up and running and the URL to Paw-Talk with permission to use my account if she's concerned about something and is unable to reach anyone, or is waiting for the vet to call back. I would not leave her with a female that is close to giving birth or with a known to be ill chin, not that she couldn't handle it, but I would just rather not put that on her. I think with the right planning and the right chin sitter, leaving them for up to a week is okay. I pretty much feel like I'm doing all the "right" things in preperation when I go out of town.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Mandie, that is perfectly fine. I went to England for 2 weeks and had my friend and her girlfriend take care of the chinnies and everything was fine.

What irritated me is that my friend chose to leave her chins alone without anyone watching them!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 11:12 AM
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I've left my chins alone for two days at the most without anyone taking care of them. That's as long as I would do it. I didn't have any preggers females or anything and had almost everyone seperated so there would be no freak killings. I also gave them plenty of food and water and felt they were pretty safe. Any more than two days and I have my neighbors check in on them. We always have our cell phones on so if there is ever an emergency we can be phoned right away.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 02:50 PM
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Leaving the chins alone is something to think about, what to do? The situation hasn't come up yet, but I think I would need a pet sitter. Which I currently don't have. We had thought about going out of town for the 4th of July but ended up not going and it brought forth a really good discussion about all our pets.

It's true I don't want to be tied to my pets but geez my babies!! Three days alone seems not responsible, especially with new babies. I suppose I would leave them overnight, that seems somewhat sane. I don't know though, thinking about it makes me feel anxious. She's lucky nothing bad happened. I haven't had a sick chin yet (knock on wood) but from my understanding they can decline really quickly when something is wrong.

I really like the idea of having a vet credit card to leave with a pet sitter, that way everything can be handled with less worry if you aren't able to be contacted while away. Good idea!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 03:35 PM
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I used to travel quite frequently, as my husband was stationed several states from where I worked at the time. What I did was this. I worked as a chemist, so most of my friends from work were people who were regularly trusted with dangerous chemicals and processes on a daily basis. This did not guarantee good pet sitters, but it indicated that they could accept a good amount of responsibility. Everyone has people like this in their lives.

I picked a couple people and introduced them to the chins. I gave them a check list (care, feeding, how to deal with seizures, general pet evacuation plan in the event of natural or man-made disaster, proper temperature range and how to read the digital thermometer history and adjust the thermostat), the name of my vet (regular and emergency), access to a certain amount of money, and emergency contact info. Then I had them come over and visit during a feeding. For a two day weekend, I only asked them to check that the water bottles weren't knocked over (my chins do this and so someone must check on them) and to freshen the water and give them raisins. My chins aren't pigs, so I can put 3-4 days of food in their bowl. For three days, I would ask them to also put in hay. For 4 days, they needed to know everything.

When I went to Korea for 3 weeks, I hired a pet sitter, but she herself owned a 16 year old chin, so that was her best reference. Instead of having her come out everyday, I crated the chins and brought the cage her house and they had her pool cabana to themselves.

Only a very select few sitters have I allowed to let the chins free run. My theory is a couple of days every month without a free run won't hurt. Actually, the sitter that let them out was one of my husband's army buddies. He always brought papers for the chins cage and sat with us several times when the chins were on free run. He learned how to get them into the cage (wait up to an hour) and had actually witnessed the only seizure that Maureen had in Fayetteville, so he was well qualified.

So to answer your question, for a couple of days, it is a good idea to have someone check on the chins, but they do not need to be experts. For long weekend, a more preparation is necessary. For long term, it pays to really plan ahead. I have never asked a friend to babysit for so long that they had to clean a cage or anything like that.

And I would not leave babies or a sick animal with anyone who is not either a chin owner, a vet tech, a biologist, or someone with special knowledge. (Max had an eye infection over Xmas last year and one of the biologists from my company was happy to take care of him and give him his medicine. Good for me, because she was able to give the medicine. Good for her, because her daughter really wanted a chinchilla and this was a valuable part of the research for her. Also, it meant that they had done some basic research on chins already.)

Have fun on you trip.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 09:30 PM
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Denise, I wouldn't leave my chins alone for 3 days and DEFINITELY not with two week old quads! Petsitter or no vacation for me.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 09:57 PM
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I would worry myself sick if I left my babies alone for more than a few hours, let alone 3 or more days. I've heard of people doing this. In fact, a girl at PetsHub was giving people a lot of false info on Chins. She said they were the EASIEST thing to care for cuz you could leave them for a WEEK with extra food and water and go out of town! I was really upset at this. She made them sound so unimportant and easy to care for. False info can kill Chinnies. Info like that scares and worries the heck outta me.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 10:10 PM
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I couldnt leave my chinnies, when we went to SC for the night I had my son and roommate stay at my house with them, I fed, hayed and watered before I left that evening and was home before feeding time the next night.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 11:26 PM
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I have made plans to have a friend check on my boys when I go on vacation in a couple of weeks. Too much could happen. I wouldn't chance it, especially with little ones.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 12:19 AM
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I couldn't and wouldn't leave my chins unattended for more than 8-10 hours. Ever!!!!!! To me, it is just plain irresponsible. These chins are my babies, and I am responsible for their well being since they can't fend for themselves. I'm with Brenda, no petsitter... I don't go.

So much could go wrong. You could not know a female was preg, and leave and she have problems. What if the a/c went out? What if .... this is how my mind works.

My godmother wanted to pay for us to come visit this weekend. I'd love to see her, I miss her dearly.. but I just couldn't go. There is nobody here that I would trust with my babies. Not just chins, but the dogs and the bird.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 12:28 AM
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Too much could happen in 3 days! What if someone got their foot stuck in the cage? What if the water bottle suddenly leaked out? What if they suddenly decided they didn't like each other anymore and had a violent fight? When I had chins there was no way I would leave them alone for that long without someone checking on them.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 02:16 AM
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I get paranoid leaving them for more than 8 hours, which usually is our timeline for a "day" away....Around here it's so hard not having central a/c, so I worry when we just go to one of the open air markets for a few hours that we will return and the power would have gone out..... We have to ensure that the least minimal things are running (a/c, fans, ect....) to ensure that the so called portable a/c stays on in our away time. As for leaving them longer than that, if we are going to be away over night or a weekend (like when we went to Tuscany), we are sure to have somebody checking in on them as often as necessary. Now that July is here and August is right around the corner, I think our weekend get aways are on hold, as I'm too worried to go anywhere in this heat and leave them. If we did decide to take off for a weekend this summer, I will have to definitely make sure they go over to a very trusting friends house (she is a HUGE animal lover) this way I know that there is somebody home to look after them, otherwise we will wait until fall before leaving our keys to have somebody look in on them. Those that have Chinnies must know and understand the sacrifices that must be made otherwise you just become another irresponsible Chin owner.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 06:35 AM
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We have left ours overnight only. And then we always have to pay. If they do not get their snack at 11 p.m. we get the cold shoulder for a couple days. When we go out of town for more than that we try to get someone to come here, usually my daughter. Last year we had a big vacation and we took them to my dads. He actually bonded with them!
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