Dogs and Your Vacation – The Various Options
27 October, 2014
Can I Come With You

The holidays are sneaking up on us and a lot of us plan our vacations during Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.  Or sometimes, you just want to get away for a long weekend or to visit relatives.  And if you own a dog or dogs, you don’t always bring want to bring them along with you, particularly if it is a short trip.  Therefore, you want to consider the best option to make you and your ‘kids’ feel comfortable when you are on your vacation.

Below are some different options depending on your budget and/or dog’s needs and adaptability.

Have a family member or neighbor watch over your dog

If you are only going for a short time, try to get a family member or friend to come by and feed your dog.  And, hopefully, you can also make sure to have them take your dog out and for a walk.  While this can be a lot to ask of a friend, you can also swap the favor when they go on vacation.  Make sure to ask someone who has a dog so they know the routine on caring for a dog.

A pet sitter is another great option to take care of your dog

If you don’t have a friend that can take care of your dog, there are numerous pet sitters that can stop by or some who even spend the night.  A pet sitter is a viable option (make sure to get some recommendations) as they are trained to be with pets or specifically dogs and therefore have the knowledge of what your dog needs and/or any special care for your pup.  If your dog needs medication of any sort, a pet sitter is the way to go.  It is too much pressure for a friend or even family member to know how to give your dogs’ medication when you are away.

Can I Come With You

Can I come with you?

As always, make sure your pet sitter (or anyone who watches over your dog) is given all the emergency telephone numbers, just in case. Leave a number where he or she can reach you, and write down your veterinarian’s telephone number and the nearest emergency hospital as well.  You can tell your pet sitter, also, the special needs of your dog and/or preferences.  And, of course, since you are paying a pet sitter, he or she needs to attend to those needs as well as walking your dog on a daily basis.

You can take your dog to a boarding facility

You can take your dog to a boarding facility or a dog hotel. There are so many out there to choose from and you should get a recommendation from a friend.  And, of course, you will want to tour the facility to make sure it meets you and your dog’s standards.  Some questions you might want to think about and ask their staff are: How much play time do the dogs have throughout the day? Where do they go to the bathroom? What is the feeding schedule? Does the staff know how to administer medications? Is there an on-site staff 24/7?  Is it climate controlled? What are the procedures for emergencies? What can you bring for your dog?

If your dog is more comfortable around other dogs and likes to play, ask about an option for a ‘play date’ with the other dogs.  See if they will schedule it ahead of time.   Or, maybe your dog isn’t that social; then, you want to be sure that only the staff plays with him or her.

You can take your dog with you on your vacation

You could take your dog with you on a vacation, particularly if it is an extended trip. If you do this, make sure that any housing arrangements you’ve made (hotels, motels, etc.) are pet-friendly.  There is a great new site, called where you can book your vacation and find a pet friendly hotel for your cats or dog all through one site. They also give some of the proceeds to various pet rescues groups!

If you plan in advance the best option for your dog and make sure that all his or her needs are taken care of while you away, your dog will be fine.  You can go on your vacation and feel comfortable that your dogs are in good hands!


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