What to Do With Your Dog While on Vacation


Caring for Your Dog While on Vacation

Dog Vacation

Summertime is a popular season for getting away on vacation, but many airlines and hotels won’t allow owners to bring their dogs along for the trip, especially those of larger dog breeds. Leaving your dog while you go on vacation can be difficult if you’re constantly worrying if your dog is being well taken care of. So how do you ensure your beloved canine is properly cared for while you and your family enjoy your trip?

Here are a couple of reliable options for leaving your pet behind and keeping him happy and comfortable until you return. You may even receive dog training as an added bonus.

Boarding Kennels

Boarding kennels are brick-and-mortar businesses that have been established for the sole purpose of housing and caring for pets while their owners are away. According to the American Boarding Kennel Association (ABKA), there are approximately 9,000 boarding kennels in the U.S. and Canada offering services to more than 30,000,000 pet owners annually. Some kennels, such as board and train kennels, even have a dog trainer on staff to provide dog training classes.

Some veterinary facilities offer boarding services. Make sure to book your dog’s stay as early as possible, as boarding facilities can book up, especially during popular vacationing seasons. Also, check out the facility personally in advance to make sure that supervision, sanitation and security are up to par.

All boarding kennels require your dog is up-to-date on his immunizations. For dogs, required immunizations are the DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus) and bordetella vaccines as well as the rabies vaccine. Inform the kennel staff of any special instructions upon booking your dog’s spot. For instance, if your canine is dog-aggressive and must be kept away from other dogs, it’s essential for the kennel to be aware of this in advance.

RELATED: Canine Distemper

Pet Sitters

For some dog owners, hiring a pet sitter may be preferable to boarding their dog in a kennel. Pet sitters go to your house to feed, water, exercise and watch over your dog while you’re away. Sometimes, pet sitters also work as dog obedience trainers. Many offer the option of staying at your home for 24-hour supervision. Although you can also choose to have the sitter stop by once or twice daily instead, depending on your preference. Some families have the ideal situation of a pet sitter who stays in and provides animal training to their dog throughout the vacation.

RELATED: Animal Training Certification

Another one of the benefits of hiring a pet sitter is that your dog can stay in the comfort of his own home during your absence. This can be especially comforting for the dog. You can also give more specialized instructions for the care of your pet, such as daily maintenance of your dog’s obedience cues. It’s recommended you meet with potential dog sitters before choosing one to confirm her qualifications. Some pet sitters are certified through Pet Sitters International (PSI) or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), meaning they’re prescreened by the association. These and other sitters can achieve certification in pet CPR as well, which can be an added comfort to an owner away from home.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to check out the facility, sitter or animal trainer before leaving on vacation. Also, ensure your dog is essentially healthy and if he has special medical needs, inform the kennel operator or pet sitter of required medications prior to your departure.

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