Dogs don’t speak our language, and they don’t need to; they’re surprisingly perceptive. They know in advance when their owners are going out for a little while and when they’ll be gone for days or weeks. When you start packing your bags for some much-needed time away, they start looking sad and depressed. If that’s not a sixth sense, what could be? Where to leave them when going away is one of the biggest decisions for pet owners. Here are some options.
A Pet Hotel
A pet hotel will offer a comfortable and safe environment in which your dog will be pampered and well taken care of. There are play areas with lots of toys, spacious areas to eat and sleep, and other pleasant amenities. Kick back, relax, and take the time to find the best pet hotels. Pet hotels are becoming more and more popular and offer services in all kinds of price ranges. You might find a suitable option near you.
A traditional boarding kennel is your second option. You will probably need to book in advance. Confirm that the kennel is licensed and certified by the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA). Dogs are social animals and need to interact with other dogs. Make sure your pooch will be given enough time to run and play and will be walked regularly. Ask how long the walks are. You can search the database of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association to find a quality facility.
Hiring a sitter is a good way to combine the professional and the personal. If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable in a strange place, you can get a sitter to drop by and walk, feed, and play with them. You can even get them to stay in your home for the duration of your trip so the dog will never be alone – if you trust them.
Alternatively, the sitter can watch them in their own home. Before you hire someone, get them to meet your dog to see how they interact. Both options are good; the choice depends on your dog’s needs. Some sitters care for several dogs in their home at a time. This will give your dog an opportunity to socialize with others in a controlled and supervised setting.
They will have more daily interaction and personal attention in the home of a sitter than they would at a kennel. Taking the dog to the sitter’s home is cheaper than having them come to yours. Plus, you don’t have to give up the keys to your apartment or house. Online services make it possible to search for dog sitters who provide this care option in your area.
Friend, Relative, or Neighbor
You might know someone who goes crazy every time they see your dog – in a good way, obviously. Why not ask them to check up on him or her when you go on vacation? Offer to pay even if you’re very close. You’ll pay a lot less than you would a professional sitter, if at all. You’ll also rest assured knowing you’re letting someone who is kind and trustworthy into your home.
Do keep in mind that a dog with erratic or unusual behavior might end up putting a strain on your relationship. You also need to make sure your friend, neighbor, or loved one is versed in pet care basics. Ideally, they’d be a dog owner too. If they are and won’t accept payment, offer to return the favor one day. As a thank you, get them a souvenir from your trip.
Take the Dog With You
If all else fails, consider traveling with your dog. It can be fun, and if they’re small, they can be in the cabin with you on the plane. With so many pet-friendly hotels cropping up all over the world, you’re sure to find a suitable place to stay.
The dog might like being with you and your friends or family if you’re going camping or hiking, and your friends and family will love being with them.
If you’re planning a trip with relatively long hiking stretches, think about whether they’ll be able to keep up. If so, you’ll still need to bring lots of water. Also, check the extent to which your destination is pet-friendly. Many beaches and parks don’t allow dogs.