You’re all ready for your vacation. You’ve booked the plane tickets, reserved the hotel room, bought all the necessary wardrobe items…and then, you realize you never figured out what to do with your dog!
While you might be tempted to take them with you, you remember that your hotel doesn’t allow pets, and the flight is probably too long for them to handle.
So, what do you do? Here’s how to decide between the boarding kennel, hiring a dog walker or getting an overnight sitter for your dog!
Dog walkers are great solutions for elderly, well-behaved and calm dogs. The older a dog gets, the more and more they want to lounge around their home. Putting them in a boarding kennel with lots of younger, more aggressive dogs can be bad for their health.
A dog walker will come by a few times a day to check on your dog, walk them, feed them and even play with them a bit.
You want to be sure your dog gets as much attention as they deserve while you’re gone, and a dog walker is perfect for that! Just make sure you leave their dog collar and leash set where it’s easily accessible for the dog walker.
Dog walkers are typically trained professionals who are able to care for a variety of dogs.
Regardless of your dog’s breed or even their age, a dog walker is a great solution if you don’t necessarily have the money for a kennel or aren’t sure your dog will do well with other dogs.
Just make sure to clearly communicate with the dog walker that your dog won’t be comfortable walking with other dogs. Some dog walkers will take multiple dogs on a walk together, but that isn’t always the best idea for them.
Boarding kennels are like a sleep-away camp for your dog!
Outgoing, social dogs do best in boarding kennels because they get interaction with other dogs and humans. If your dog enjoys being around new dogs and humans, then a boarding kennel might be a good solution if you’re going on vacation.
They’re typically on a routine schedule for feeding and play time, and the kennel staff watches over them for any behavior that seems out of the ordinary, such as aggression with other dogs, not eating consistently or any other medical issues that might arise.
It’s a good idea to outfit your dog with a silicone dog tag that contains pertinent information about your dog and you so that the staff at the boarding kennel can quickly get in touch with you if need be!
However, if your dog does not do well in new, unfamiliar spaces, a boarding kennel might not be a good idea.
Some dogs can suffer from sensory overload, where they’re overstimulated and lash out. This isn’t good for your dog’s mental health.
If you have an anxious dog or a dog that doesn’t do well in new environments, then it might not be the best idea for them to spend the days of your vacation in a boarding kennel.
Additionally, boarding kennels cost a lot of money. Some charge a nightly fee, just like a hotel for humans. Others charge by the week. It all just depends!
Either way, boarding kennels charge so they can keep the kennel staffed, keep food on their shelves and have emergency medications on hand to administer before they can get the pet to a local pet hospital.
The maintenance of a boarding kennel can be quite steep, so for pet owners who need to watch their budget, it might not be the most economical decision.
A pet sitter is someone who stays at your home while you’re gone and takes care of your pets.
While some people choose to have their pet sitter come over around the time their pets normally get fed, others have their pet sitter house sit as well.
This is a great solution for pets that don’t do well without company, have medical issues and get overwhelmed around other dogs.
A pet sitter is great because they are taking care of your animal exclusively. No need to worry about them mixing your dog’s food up with another’s or having them run off because the pet sitter was paying attention to another animal.
With a dedicated pet sitter, your pup will get the full attention they deserve – and who doesn’t want the best for their pupper?
Your pet will get to stay in the environment they know best, which will help ease any anxiety they might have at you being gone.
There are some things to watch out for and be prepared for when bringing in a pet sitter. If they have animals of their own, their scent will be something your dog will need to adjust to.
If your dog is highly protective of your home against other dogs and even people, then a pet sitter might not be the best idea.
Otherwise, you’ll want to be sure to vet your pet sitter. If hiring someone, make sure they don’t have a history of harming animals and have had pet sitting jobs before.
Plus, an overnight sitter is one who’s staying at your home overnight. You’ll need to ensure the spare bedroom has fresh sheets and the bathroom has toiletries for them.
You should also consider doing a grocery run so your pet sitter can easily find themselves something to eat during their stay.
Which Is Best for You?
All three options are suitable for different types of dogs. As a pet owner, you know your dog the best.
Their behavior, age and breed are all factors that can influence which route you choose.
It’s important that you consider each option because only you know what’s best for your dog.
Just remember to get them a toy or souvenir from your trip and shower them with love and affection when you return home!
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