What to Do When You Can’t Take Your Dog on Vacation
Traveling with my dog Dexter is one of my favorite pastimes. Personally, I would never consider a vacation during which I could not include Dexter in most or all of my activities. I’m lucky in that I’ve chosen a career in the pet industry where Dexter is always welcome. I realize that I may not be in the majority, and some people find themselves needing to leave their canine behind. This article is to help ensure their dog BFF is safe and as stress-free as possible during their human’s absence.
There are a few available options when leaving your dog behind. A live-in pet sitter, a pet sitter who offers daily visits, leaving your dog in a pet sitter’s home or boarding your dog in a dog boarding kennel. Each one has its merits.
Live-in Pet Sitter?
Live-in pet sitter tends to be one of the best options for most dogs when their family is away. This allows the dog to stay in their own home environment and can lead to less stress caused by unfamiliar surroundings or people. The professional pet sitter, or even a family member or friend, will live in your home while you are away. They may have “day jobs” but are there in the mornings, evenings, and bedtime. Sometimes even during the day.
Daily in home visits from a professional pet sitter or family member. Unlike the live-in pet sitter, this is where someone comes into your home 2-5 times a day to care for your dog. Like the live-in pet sitter, this will enable your dog to stay in his own home, sleep on his own bed, and have the security of familiarity.
Pet Sitter’s Home
Staying in a pet sitter or family member’s home is another option when Fido can’t travel with you. When your dog stays in someone else’s home, they will have the comforts of a home environment and will be able to interact regularly with people. If you are choosing this option, it’s important to visit the home to ensure the home environment elements, such as fencing and other pets, are safe for your dog.
Dog Boarding Facility
Using a dog-boarding facility is another alternative to leaving your dog at home while you travel. This can be stressful on a lot of dogs if they have not had much boarding experience or have been left for doggie day care. When choosing a good dog-boarding facility, tour the facility and look at the dogs currently being boarded. Are they clean, happy, and well cared for? Is the building clean, well-staffed, bright, and odor-free? If not, I would suggest looking for an alternative location.
Choosing the best professional or family member to care for your beloved dog while you are gone can take some time. A good professional pet sitter will require an in-home get-to-know-your-dog session prior to accepting a pet sitting assignment. Pet sitters and boarding kennels can book months in advance. Even a year in advance if it’s a holiday weekend. If you ever have an uncomfortable feeling with a person or facility, trust your gut.
One last option to consider. Just maybe you can actually take your dog with you instead of leaving him at home. Think about your trip. If a friend or family member goes with you, can they watch your dog while you attended your meetings? If you’re going on vacation, can you look into dog-friendly attractions, activities, and restaurants? A lot of dog-friendly hotels even offer in-room pet sitting services. Just a thought. 🙂
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