Time for a relaxing vacay? Whether you’re heading to Disney World, to grandma’s house, or anywhere in between, sometimes our furry loved ones just aren’t able to tag along. Planning your pooch’s holiday is an important component of any vacation preparations. How can you make the time mutually enjoyable for everyone?
- Plan ahead I cannot stress this enough! There are several options available when it comes to your vacation. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility and obligation to plan ahead, even if you are travelling with other people.
True story – my mom came to town without planning ahead for her high-anxiety, needy dog. We were heading to an amusement park for two days. She did not follow through checking on boarding options I had given to her, and assumed she could bring him to the condo. This was a definite NO. Within hours of our trip, we had to scramble to find some sort of accommodation for this dog. Eventually, we found a pet sitter who came to my home a few times a day to check on him. She was great, but my mom’s dog ended up destroying our blinds in the kitchen. It was a very tough trip for him and for her. Proper planning would have remedied this situation. Fortunately, everyone is fine now, but this is a lesson better learned ahead of time.
- Update vaccinations Be sure your furry friend is current on vaccinations and has recently seen your veterinarian. Many boarding options require verification of vaccines and veterinarian information.
So what are your options anyway? Here are a few...
- In-home pet sitting In home pet sitting is a viable option for some dogs who do well with minimal human interaction and prefer to stay in their familiar environment.
* Ask for references – BUYER BEWARE: the nice college girl who goes to your church may not be a good choice if she doesn’t have references.
* Introduce the sitter to the pet ahead of time.
* Leave directions regarding your pet’s schedule, doctor, and any special instructions.
* Consider a pet camera to help monitor your animal and the caregiver.
* Provide a back-up plan in the event your sitter does not work out.
True story – I have friends that left their two furry friends home alone for about a week. They hired a nice girl from their church who could use the extra money. She was supposed to come to the house 2-3 times each day to let the dogs out, feed them, and play with them. Fortunately, they had a camera set up so they could check on the dogs and see how things were going. They quickly noticed that she was either not showing up or if she did, she was not staying long enough to meet her responsibilities. Fortunately, their neighbor was home and knew the dogs well. She was their back up plan. While on vacation, they had to fire their dog sitter and arrange for their neighbor to pick up the slack. Everyone survived, but the worry and stress of this unfortunate pet care situation sucked a lot of the fun out of their trip.
Kennel and dog run boarding Veterinarians, pet hotels, and boarding facilities usually offer kennel and dog run boarding. Generally, the dogs are left in their rooms, run or kennel for the majority of the day except for when they are let out to potty. The bombardment of constant noises and smells are stressful and hard on many dogs. Some of these places offer doggy day care, training packages, or special treats for an extra fee. These add-ons can help your dog’s disposition during their stay, but can also quickly drain your pocket book. Pay attention to your dog’s temperament, preferences, and needs when choosing their accommodations and extras. Even friendly, playful pups can be stressed in these environments and prefer to skip being forced into an overwhelming group of rowdy unfamiliar pups.
Luxury boarding Smartypaws LLC located in Lee’s Summit, MO is the ultimate example in luxury, low stress boarding. Many commercial boarding facilities market their boarding as luxury accommodations with “private suites”, but none can provide your pups a home away from home complete with a second family! At Smartypaws your pooch enjoys all the comforts of home with around the clock companionship and customized care. Smartypaws excels at going above and beyond by recognizing and meeting each guest’s individual needs in order to provide a fun and relaxing staycation. There are other in-home boarding options, but be sure they are reputable, registered, licensed, insured, able to provide references, and do not unsafely overcrowd their home with too many dogs. You will need to plan ahead and arrange a time for your dogs to meet with the boarding facilitators before scheduling their stay. Don’t wait until the last minute! Repeat! DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE! Spaces are limited and regular customers book months in advance to guarantee their furbabie’s luxury accommodations.
Regardless of which option you choose, planning is of the upmost importance! Vacation season can be enjoyable for all parties involved when consideration is given to the details in advance. Have you taken a vacation without your pet(s)? What did you do with them?