This is a partnered post.
If you’ve recently adopted a dog or plan to take your first holiday away from your loving pet, then there are likely a couple of things on your mind that needs to be dealt with before you set off. Whether your dog has a medical condition that needs to be taken care of or a strict diet and exercise routine, it’s difficult to interrupt that especially when you aren’t around to look after them.
Your dog is a member of your family and you should treat them as such. You shouldn’t just leave them with neighbours or family members when you’re away, especially if they don’t know how to take care of your dog. You want them to feel comfortable and loved in your absence, and that’s why you need to take great care in planning ahead to ensure their safety and comfort.
So no matter where you’re headed to, here are a few tips on how you can give your pet the best care possible when you’re away.
Have a conversation with your local veterinarian
The first thing you should do is speak to your veterinarian. Make sure that your dog is fit to be looked after by someone else and that there’s no upcoming appointments or checkups that your dog needs to attend with you. Your veterinarian might be able to suggest a suitable dog boarding service as well, or the veterinarian might offer a care centre themselves. However, this is only really suitable if your dog has a medical condition and needs to be constantly monitored and looked after. If they don’t, then it’s better to pick another dog boarding centre that isn’t hosted by your local veterinarian.
Picking the right kennel
The most common option is to leave your dog with a kennel. There are many lingering old stereotypes about kennels being nasty places with cramped cages, poor service and a lot of unhappy dogs (and owners) but that’s largely disappeared now. There are comfortable dog kennels which will give your dog the love, care and fun they need to stay distracted while you’re away. Of course, they’ll still miss you and long for your return, but kennels nowadays are so well equipped and stocked that you don’t need to worry about a single thing while you’re away. Kennels are usually the cheapest and most common way to go if you need to travel for a long period of time, but there are some formalities that you need to deal with (such as filling in forms) before you’re able to use their services. For short-term situations, you may want to just leave your pet with a family member for a day or two.
Preparation for a dog sitter
If you only plan to leave your dog with a sitter for a few days, then you may want to prepare some things for them. For instance, a basic schedule is a great way to tell the sitter what your usual routine is. Most kennels will stick to their own schedules but a dog sitter or family member will be far more flexible and be able to fit your own routine in. Try to write down all the information they’ll need regarding things like medication and diet.