Whether you have a new puppy or a senior dog, making the arrangements for your dog’s care while you are gone can be stressful. You can’t enjoy your vacation if you are worried about your furry four-legged friend. In an ideal world, you could have a trusted friend or family member take your dog in while you’re away, but this is not always feasible. So instead, it often comes down to a sitter or kennel; how can you tell which option is right for you? Read on to find out.
How Old is Your Dog?
Boarding can be great for younger dogs; think of it as a summer camp for puppies. They get to socialize with other dogs, and they get a lot of exercise and playtime. However, most older dogs don’t have as much energy, and often they are content to spend their days snoozing, which is why they might be better off at home. Also, as they age, too many changes in the environment at once can be incredibly overwhelming for dogs which is something you should consider.
How Often Do You Travel?
If you find yourself traveling often, then having to pack your dog up and drop them at a kennel can be inconvenient for you and unsettle your dog. However, every once in a while should be fine, provided your dog feels happy in the presence of other dogs and strangers. If you travel a lot for whatever reason, then the best thing you can do is to hire a sitter to keep your dogs routine and provide them with the minimum disruption necessary.
Implement a Vetting Process
Whether you are leaning more towards a pet sitter or a kennel, you need to go through a thorough vetting process to ensure that they are right for your dog. Before you commit to a pet sitter, you should do a background check, interview them, and request references. You should always schedule a meeting between your pet and the sitter before you leave your dog with them to observe how they interact and whether or not you think it would be a good fit. If you are thinking about going with a kennel, then you need to tour the facility beforehand. You could also ask for recommendations from people that you trust.
Outline Your Expectations
The sitter or the staff at the kennel are acting as your proxy. You have every right to outline your expectations for your dog’s care while they are with them. This could include when and how they eat, a walk schedule, grooming needs, bedtime routines, and any medical information. You may also want to have an emergency plan in place just in case. It might also be worth having a designated lead and collar that your pet uses whilst in the care of others, dogs form associations, and it is better not to confuse them. Monro Pets have a range of leads, collars, and dog bandanas to choose from.
In the end, you have to pick the option that is right for you and your pet. Whether you choose in-home care or a kennel, you need to make sure that you feel comfortable leaving your dog with them. If you don’t, your vacation could be tainted by you worrying.