I recently received an email from a client who was going on a trip that wouldn’t allow her dog to come along. My client was curious about the best way to have her dog cared for while she was away.
We came up with 3 approaches that could all be a great way to keep her dog safe, exercised, and taken care of while she was gone.
I got to thinking she may not be the only one who would like these answers. The holidays are fast approaching. Many people will need to leave their dog’s home and may wonder what their best plan should be for taking care of Fido.
So here are the 3 approaches we came up with. I hope these might help you as well.
1.) Your Friend
Is your friend also your dog’s friend? If your friend is willing and able, this could be an easy solution. If your dog is not used to staying alone with your friend start introducing short stays before your planned trip. Invite your friend to come over and spend 15 minutes alone with your dog. If all goes well, try another stay on another day and add about 15 minutes more to the time alone. If it looks like your dog may need more time, add another day with a longer length of time. You get the idea. Don’t forget to let your friend know how to take care of your dog and leave a list important phone numbers (like poison control, emergency vet, regular vet, who to call in an emergency if you are not available, and, of course, your phone number) for your friend, just in case.
2.) A Sitter
Sitters can vary from someone who stays in your home while you are away, to someone who drops in to feed and water, maybe even walk your dog, to someone who takes your dog into their house while you are away. You will need to decide what fits your needs best. Most sitters are well versed in pet caretaking and easily build a report with the pets they indicate they sit for. They will usually have a certain way they like to get to know your pet, but, if not, the introduction plan outlined in #1 will work well here as well. Let them know how to care for your dog and leave that important list of emergency numbers.
3.) A Boarding Facility
This could be a great option, but be sure to find out what the facility does for their boarders. Some allow the dogs to play together, some don’t. Some allow special food, some don’t, etc. Make sure it is a place you would be happy to leave your dog. If your dog has never been there before, see if you can arrange a 1 day stay ahead of time. 2 reasons – your dog sees you haven’t abandoned her (you picked her up at the end of the day) and you get to see if your dog tolerates the environment. Keep in mind that there will be required up to date immunizations before the boarding facility will board your dog.
- With all new introductions, remain calm and positive. Your dog can read your “vibes” very easily. If you are nervous, she could think the situation is dangerous.
- Research and ask questions of sitters and boarding facilities.
- Rover is a good place to go to find sitters and boarding facilities.
- Some pet stores carry a list of sitters and boarders.
- Go with your gut. If something feels wrong, or right, it usually is.
I hope this helps you have a fabulous vacation and that your dog has a great time as well.
Live, Love, Bark,
P.S. – Got any other helpful advice? Please share in the comments. Your tip could prove very valuable to someone.