Vacation? Photo Credit: TheGiantVermin (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.
As much as we'd like to always take our four-legged family members with us when we travel, unfortunately, there are times when we have to leave them behind. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to board your dog or leave him with a dog sitter.
Boarding facilities can be a great option for your dog. Many dogs will think of this as a vacation for them while you’re on vacation! There are numerous options for boarding facilities and certainly one that can fit your dog's needs. Many facilities offer group play or have free range options where animals spend lots of time outdoors. Social dogs will greatly benefit from this type of environment where they have time to work off some of their energy and spend time with some playmates. Many facilities also offer additional services during their stay such as extra cuddle time or even grooming so your dog looks its best when you get home.
People who travel frequently may also benefit from having short or long term dog sitting. If your dog is unable to be present during your travels, dog sitting is a great option.
Depending on your dog's personality they may feel more comfortable in a home environment, so being at their own home or going to another home can be reassuring in the face of a new caretaker. Dog sitters should be aware of any medications an animal needs and how often, as well as the contact information of your regular veterinarian and an emergency veterinary in the area.
For dogs with more serious medical concerns having the constant watchful eye of a dog sitter can be very beneficial. Informing a new caretaker of your dog's habits and routines can also prevent them from worrying about things like how much they eat and what toys they play with. New caretakers should also be warned about inappropriate behaviors your dog may exhibit (such as eating food off the counters and ingesting foreign objects) to avoid unfortunate accidents!
Photo Credit: TheGiantVermin (CC)