Summer vacations are coming soon and if your dog is one of the uber lucky he/she will get to go with you! Check out this cool resource for Fido friendly locations.
For the companions who don’t travel well or those who just can’t go along this time, you have the responsibility of finding a safe solution of where your dog will stay and who will care for them.
It is no easy task. Leaving your companion in the care and custody of someone else is a bit daunting. Especially if you haven’t done it before. I’ve been taking care of pets for quite a long time, both through offering a boarding facility and long ago by providing in-home pet sitting. I’ve learned a thing or two in the past 20 years and I’d like to share some suggestions to make it easier on you and your pet.
First off, do your research. Check out the location where your dog will stay. There is nothing wrong with scheduling a quick visit, just be understanding that there are times of day at boarding facilities where things are extremely busy (early morning/late afternoon) and the staff may not be available for a tour at that time. If you are hiring an in-home provider ask for references and hire someone who is bonded and insured. If they don’t take themselves seriously enough to carry liability protection, I’d be skeptical. Check out this article for more info on pet sitters.
When deciding on a boarding facility there are a few things of utmost importance. Is the facility safe and clean? Is the staff knowledgeable? Those things above all should be your primary consideration. Deluxe accommodations are great to look at but having a couch and tv isn’t nearly as important to your dog’s well being as knowing the staff knows how to keep your dog safely contained, properly feed, administer medications correctly if needed, can recognize any potential problems quickly and will act accordingly. Your dog’s safety, not the fun factor is the primary consideration.
Now with that said, preventing boredom is part of what good facilities are concerned with. Be aware this will probably also cost you extra expense. It costs $ to have extra staff for extra play time and private walks. You can help alleviate boredom by leaving your dog with a few good chew toys. Make sure the toys are designed to take on serious chewing. Stuffed toys, plush pillows and the like are often turned to piles of fluff in the confines of a dog run. Boredom becomes more prevalent as the duration of the stay lengthens. If your pet must stay boarded for more than 4-5 days anti up the extra cash for some extra walks or play time. It is truly a lot to expect for a dog to be content confined to a 3 x 6 run for days on end with only a few potty breaks throughout the day. And harder yet for those dogs who stay at indoor/outdoor run facilities. Those dogs very possible do not come out of that area until the day you pick them up to go home.
If you insist on providing a bed or pillow for your dog, be aware it is highly possible it will get destroyed. Dogs in confinement chew and occasionally have accidents. If you want to leave bedding, a small blanket is much easier to clean in the event it is urinated on. And yes, even those dogs who NEVER have an accident or chew can have problems from time to time.
Leave a number where you can be reached in the case of an emergency. If you will be unavailable, leave a contact persons name and number. Provide any needed medications with clear instructions. Dog’s do best if they are kept on their same diet. Bring along your dog’s own food clearly marked with their name and amount to be fed. And include your dog’s veterinary info in case of an emergency.
Finally, don’t fuss excessively over your dog when you leave him/her. This is the hardest part for most people. It is normal to feel a little guilty or to worry but don’t transmit those anxieties to your dog. Most dog’s do just fine and accept their new schedule and surroundings quickly. The more you prolong the goodbyes to your furry friend, the more anxiety you create in their mind. A pat on the head or scratch behind the ear and the offering of a fascinating new chew toy set the tone for a happy stay at camp much better than tears and drawn out departures.