December 21, 2016

How to Prepare Your Dog When You Go on Vacation

Sometimes, it can be fun to go on vacation with your dog. Other times, a trip without your furry friend is best. When you have a vacation planned that doesn’t include your beloved doggie companion, you might wonder what to do with your dog while you’re away. Who will take care of him or her? Where will your doggie stay? How will daily routines be worked out with temporary caregivers and your dog, who is used to familiarity? To prepare your dog for when you go on vacation, you need to make a plan that addresses your dog’s best emotional and physical well-being.

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Prepare Your Dog for When You Go on Vacation:

Where to Stay?

The first thing you’ll want to do when planning for a vacation without your dog is to decide where doggie will stay. Will he or she be best left at home, with a caregiver or sitter staying in your house or checking in frequently each day? Or, can your dog stay with a friend or family member? Some cities have nice facilities that dogs can stay in when human companions are away, such as dog hotels and resorts, kennels, and boarding facilities, and doggie spas. It’s not however, a good idea to leave your dog at a vet’s boarding office unless continuous medical attention is required. Vet’s offices are full of sick animals and their offices not ideal for long-term stays.

Who Will Watch Your Dog?

Do you have a trusted person in your life that can look out for your dog, either at your home or somewhere else? In addition to finding a trustworthy temporary caretaker, it’s important that the individual you choose to look after your dog is familiar with caring for dogs and has met your dog at least a couple of times. Your dog will need to feel comfortable with this new friend who will be giving food, petting, walking, and administering potty breaks. In scenarios where you board your dog, a first meeting is not often necessary due to the employee’s extensive training in handling dogs.

Attend to the Fine Details

Does your dog need medication? Are there any critical issues that your doggie’s caregiver should know about? If so, make a list of everything that’s important and print it out for your dog sitter or send it via email (both are a good idea). Things to address on a list of crucial dog-related points include diet restrictions, pre-existing medical conditions, favorite toys, preferred walk schedule, and bathroom habits.

Also, remember to make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines. And, leave your address, phone number, and email address with your dog’s caregiver. If your dog is not yet used to being in a carrier or crate, it’s a good idea to start the familiarization process at least a week before your vacation. Dog crate training beforehand will make it easier for your dog to be handled while getting in and out of cars, to and from the park or appointments, and while sleeping and resting, if your caretaker requires crate time. Strict dog obedience training is not required to prepare your dog for when you go on vacation, but love-based guidance absolutely is.

I can show you how to gently acclimate your dog to new scenarios, like your vacations, so that the experience feels like a fun and welcome one for your friend. To ready you and your dog companion for your next vacation, give me a call or reach out to me through my contact page.

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