Going on vacation can be stressful, especially if you have to leave your dog with someone else. You worry about whether he’ll be treated well and have enough attention. You may also wonder “Should I feel guilty leaving my dog for vacation”?
The good news is that dogs are extremely adaptable. So, long as you prepare them for your absence and make sure they have plenty of time to get comfortable in their new surroundings before you leave. If you’re worried about leaving your dog home alone, here are some tips that can help make the transition easier on both of you.
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Will your dog understand you are leaving for a short time?
In many instances, it’s just easier to take your pet with you when you travel than to try to find a temporary home.
Although traveling with your dog can be stressful. If they are trained properly it shouldn’t be an issue. If your dog is used to going on car rides, it should do well on road trips while traveling.
It might also help if your dog gets used to wearing special collars that play soothing music or sound like rain; these doggie iPods may help relax them during long drives.
They will also need special ID tags so their vet knows how to get in touch with you in case of an emergency.
If your dog is just too anxious on car rides, it may be best to find a friend who can stop by and check on him when you’re gone.
Either way, he’ll still probably miss you! You shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving for short vacations as long as you prepare ahead of time.
But remember, dogs are pack animals and most prefer to be around their human families rather than sitting at home alone.
This is something worth taking into consideration before booking that trip across town or across the country.
There are a lot of pet sitters out there, but finding one that really gets along with your dog is key.
A lot of pet owners leave their dogs with friends while they travel because they don’t want them stuck at a kennel all day.
The main reason people want pets is that they provide companionship and make us happy. So, unless you have someone willing to let your dog stay over, then putting him in a kennel isn’t much different from leaving them alone at home for an extended period of time.
Some Doggy Day Care facilities offer dog boarding, which allows your pooch to interact with other dogs and staff throughout the day.
This is a great option for those living in bigger cities, where it may be difficult to find available sitters.
Will your dog be ok alone at home during vacation
Vacations can be stressful on any pet. To ensure they’re as happy as possible when you’re away, start planning early.
Think about how much exercise your dog needs every day, what their diet is like, and when they eat. Talk to friends or neighbors who are familiar with your pup and ask if they would be willing to check in on them while you’re away.
If you’re not comfortable asking someone you know, research local doggy daycares or veterinary offices that may offer boarding services during times of the year when demand is high.
If your dog requires medication, make sure to talk to a veterinarian about whether it will need to be administered during your absence.
And remember: Dogs don’t sweat like humans do; keeping an air conditioner running in a hot climate can quickly lead to dehydration and heatstroke. Once you’ve got all those details taken care of, relax and enjoy your trip!
Some common questions that might come into your mind
Even though when everything is being taken care of, there may be some questions still coming into your mind. What are those probable questions then?
When should I board my dog instead of letting him stay home alone?
Though dogs are naturally independent animals, some cannot be left unsupervised for long periods due to behavioral issues or medical problems like separation anxiety.
It’s also important to consider how often he goes out; elderly dogs, small dogs, and dogs with breathing problems might overheat in enclosed spaces without sufficient exercise outside first.
Finally, if your pup is terrified of being alone, especially during a thunderstorm or fireworks celebration, it might be better to find a safe place for him than expose him to an anxious experience at home.
Regardless of your pet’s unique needs and comfort level, speaking with his veterinarian is always a good idea before taking any steps towards finding a boarding solution.
How do I decide which facility will work best for me?
There are hundreds of facilities across America that offer boarding services, too many to compare and contrast on your own!
If you’re not sure where to start, check online review sites like Yelp! or talk to local veterinarians about what they recommend in your area.
Asking questions is a great way to determine whether a facility will meet all of your criteria. You can get all the following questions answered by doing so.
What breeds do they accept?
Are extra shots required prior to boarding?
Do they require proof of current vaccinations?
How much does doggy daycare cost?
Daycare rates vary significantly depending on location and type of facility. Most places require a registration fee upfront, followed by payment per visit afterward.
Be sure to ask exactly what’s included, especially when it comes to meals, so there aren’t any surprises when you get your bill.
Also while lots of people say their dog loves going to daycare, keep in mind that yours may not be comfortable around other dogs or strangers.
Think through scenarios ahead of time, so there isn’t frustration on either side when you pick up your pup!
How do I make arrangements for my dog while traveling?
Planning early can help ensure that both you and your dog have a smooth trip.
Ask friends, family members, or neighbors if they would be willing to check in on your pup every few days.
Just let them know how frequently he requires feeding/watering/walking/playing. Consider hiring someone specifically to walk/feed/play with him each day). Most facilities offer these services for guests who need frequent updates about their pets’ health and well-being.
Don’t forget to bring documentation of your dog’s vaccination records, as well as identification tags or a microchip, with you.
How do I deal with a situation gone wrong?
There are bound to be times when your dog is in less-than-ideal circumstances.
This is why planning ahead is so important!
If you’ve already mapped out a plan for your dog in case of an emergency, then you’ll be less likely to panic when things go wrong. Make sure that your friend/family member knows how to reach you if there’s ever a problem, and know that it’s okay to look for another option if your original one doesn’t live up to your expectations.
If my dog has a problem, how do I handle it?
Remember: You are your dog’s number one advocate.
If you feel that an incident with another dog, animal, or human in daycare was handled poorly or not reported to you, speak up!
Contact staff and let them know that you’re concerned about your pup’s wellbeing.
Leaving them at home can be risky
Let’s face it: Leaving your pet alone at home can be risky. If you’re going on a long trip, leave a friend or family member in charge of your pet and provide detailed instructions about their care.
If you can’t find someone to help, consider boarding them or placing them in a kennel where they can get plenty of attention and exercise while you’re away.
Just like us, animals can become stressed when we go off on trips, especially when it’s unexpected.
Make sure you keep them as calm as possible with daily visits before you head out.
That way, they won’t suffer too much from separation anxiety!
But what if you just can’t find anyone to take care of your pet while you’re away? One option is to board them at a facility where they can play with other animals and have plenty of attention from staff.
Another option is pet daycare, which can give them some one-on-one time with an expert trainer and nutritionist. Dog daycare centers are especially helpful for dogs that don’t get walked every day, because it gives them plenty of exercise!
If you think both options might be good for your dog, schedule visits to two different places so you can compare how each is run. It’s also important to ask about training tips or any sort of special programs offered before making up your mind.
Make it clear you will return
Pets are amazingly intuitive, and they know when you’re not coming back. If your pet doesn’t have an established routine or history with a new sitter, it’s important to make sure that everyone involved understands that you will be returning soon.
This will help ease any worries your pets may have about being left alone. They need to understand that you aren’t abandoning them, but rather extending their own family by adding someone who will care for them in your absence.
Providing reassurance can help ease any separation anxiety they might experience while you’re away.
Your pet should also spend time getting used to a variety of people, so if there is an emergency situation, such as illness, your dog won’t worry too much about being stuck somewhere he hasn’t been before.
Remember that changes take time.
Whenever you introduce a new person or place into your pet’s life, start slow, making gradual changes over several days to help avoid shocking him.
Talk with other trusted adults in your life to see if they can spend some extra time getting acquainted with him on his regular walk.
Also, consider hiring more than one person at a time. Ask one friend to play fetch while another combs his coat; then switch roles midway through their visit.
You can even sign up for group classes where your dog gets to meet lots of people at once.
And remember, you need some time, too!
If you don’t get home until 9 p.m., leave something out that makes a lot of noise, like your garage door opener sound. So, it sounds like you’ve arrived home safely.
And never forget: He misses you when you leave and welcomes you with open paws when you return!
Arrange for someone to check-in or visit your pet while you are away
If you’re going to be away from your pet for a long period of time, consider hiring a pet sitter or bringing in someone else who can stop by and check in on them.
If possible, ask your family or friends if they would be willing to drop by once or twice during your trip.
You could also set up automatic feeding so that your pet is always well-fed while you are gone.
In addition, take plenty of pictures with your pets and share their adventures with friends on social media, it will help alleviate any guilt associated with leaving them behind!
Finally, some service providers might allow you to bring your pet along with you, like an airline. However, there may be extra costs involved, so just make sure you weigh those options before deciding on your departure plan.
Create a schedule before you leave
Though you may be tempted to pop your pup in a kennel, it’s much kinder, and cheaper, to leave your dog with a trusted friend or family member.
Check out pet-sitting sites like Rover and DogVacay to find sitters in your area who can take care of your furry buddy while you’re away.
Make sure they have experience caring for dogs just like yours, so they don’t accidentally overfeed him.
To ensure they know how to administer medications, ask if they work with a vet tech or anyone else familiar with your pooch.
And always make sure that your pal has ample water and food upon arriving at his temporary residence.
It is also recommend checking out local veterinary offices; many offer low-cost boarding options, as well as free daycare while they wait for their owners to return home.
Plus, having an established relationship with a vet from whom you get regularly scheduled checkups is priceless. Oh, and that reminds me, you’ll need to arrange checkups before you start your journey. Discuss them with your veterinarian long before you plan on going away, so there are no scheduling conflicts once you do leave town!
Get familiar with emergency numbers and instructions
You should probably give your vet and a family member (or friend) your vet’s number, so they can help out in case there’s an emergency.
It may also be helpful to have some instructions on hand about what to do in case of a medical emergency while you’re away.
Finally, be sure to tell someone where you’ll be going, and when you expect to return, so that your pet sitter or kennel staff know what will happen if anything comes up.
During holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day it is best to avoid boarding pets at all costs as holiday parks will charge exorbitant rates compared to normal days.
Take your pet with you
We all love our pets, but it’s nearly impossible to bring them with us everywhere we go. If you absolutely can’t bear to leave your pet at home while you travel, try looking into a local doggy daycare or pet sitter in your area that could watch your pup while you’re away.
But if you are too attached to your dog, then you can take it with you. Just having a kennel with yourself can make the job a lot easier for you. But, you may have to take care of it while vacationing.
Wrapping things up
Pets are family. Leaving them behind is hard! But, no matter how much you want to stay at home with your pup, sometimes you have to go out and enjoy yourself. So forget about the question of yours should I feel guilty leaving my dog for vacation.
The same goes for our pets, but luckily, there are people who can give them a great time when we’re away. Most dogs will be fine in their own homes while you’re gone, as long as they’re left with plenty of food and water and a clean area to use as a bathroom. Most professional pet sitters will also come over a few times a day to play with and feed your pup, keeping him from being bored or lonely. So, you can forget about feeling guilty about it.