If you have a dog, deciding where to leave your dog while on vacation can be a real dilemma. In today's post, our Portland vets give tips on choosing appropriate pet care while on vacation.
Leaving Your Dog For a Few Days
The question of where to leave your dog while on vacation or away from home can be a difficult one to answer. Whether you are heading out on vacation for a couple of weeks, or off on a business trip for a couple of days, you will need to find appropriate care for your canine companion. At Cedar Mill Veterinary Hospital our vets understand that deciding which kind of care is best for you and your pet can be challenging, but doing a little research into the options available near you, and what features each service offers, can help to make your decision easier.
Dog Boarding For Vacation or Time Away from Home
While it's true that pet boarding facilities were once grim, dingy places where animals stayed locked in their cages for long periods, times have changed!
These days your dog can be pampered and have fun socializing and playing while you're away. Kennels are kept clean and fresh-smelling, and dogs are treated with plenty of love and attention.
Today's animal boarding facilities range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for dogs that require extra love and attention, with price points that range from extravagant to affordable.
If you are in the process of deciding which boarding facility to take your dog to, be sure to check out a few different places in your area to find a facility that best suits the needs of your pet, and your wallet.
Price is typically a good indicator of the level of service provided at a given dog boarding facility. If your pooch will be treated to luxurious hotel-like spaces with comfy sofas to lounge on and a tv to watch, you're going to pay more than you would to board your pet at a standard facility with roomy crates and fenced dog runs.
If you want your pup to enjoy an active adventure while you're traveling, a fun camp experience may be ideal. Dog camps across the country offer loads of time for your dog to explore outdoors, as well as added facilities in some cases for swimming and playing with other dogs.
While you are narrowing down your list of preferred kennels it's important to keep in mind that extravagant facility features don't necessarily add up to better care for your pet.
Choosing The Level of Service That's Right for Your Dog
Pet care while for while you're on vacation will typically be priced based on the level of service you choose. Luxury accommodations will be far more expensive per day than a standard kennel.
Standard care for dogs at most pet boarding facilities includes:
- A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in
- Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs
- Breakfast served in the kennel
- Out of kennel playtime in the middle of the day to allow your pooch to burn some energy
- Dinner served in the kennel
- Evening bathroom break
Other services commonly available at pet boarding facilities:If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, many facilities also offer the following services:
- Specialized veterinary care
- Shuttle services to and from the facility
The Pros & Cons of Boarding Your Dog While You're On Vacation
- Pros: Pet boarding provides your pet with a standardized daily routine that many dogs crave including meal times and exercise times on a regular schedule. Boarding also allows pets to socialize with other animals. If your dog has a medical issue that requires medications or treatments, facilities with onsite vets and a team of veterinary professionals may be right for your pet while you're away.
- Cons: Being away from home can be hard for some animals. Pets can become nervous or anxious in new environments which could lead to altercations with other animals at playtime. Pets in boarding facilities also face an increased risk of contracting contagious illnesses such as kennel cough in dogs or Feline Upper Respiratory infections (colds) in cats.
Hiring a Dog Sitter
When interviewing for a dog sitter be sure to request a list of references as well as a list of qualifications. How much you will pay for a pet sitter will depend upon the level of service you choose for your pet.
Dog sitters can help to protect your home by keeping your place looking lived-in to any passers-by. Hiring a live-in pet sitter will allow you to rest assured that someone is caring for your home at night.
Extra Services Available From Some Pet Sitters:If your dog requires more care than just feeding and being let out a few times a day, some pet sitters offer additional services such as:
- Frequent walks
The Pros & Cons of Hiring a Pet Sitter
- Pros: The primary benefit of hiring a pet sitter is that your dog may find it less stressful to stay at home. Other benefits of hiring a pet sitter include the increased security of having someone in your home, and pet sitters can be less expensive than some boarding facilities.
- Cons: Bringing a stranger into your home to care for your pooch can be uncomfortable, and certainly isn't for everyone. You may also find that popular dog sitters in your area book up very quickly and may not be available when you need them, particularly at peak holiday times such as March break.
Making the Right Choice of Kennel for Your Dog While You Are on Vacation
Pet parents often experience anxiety about leaving their dogs while on vacation. Finding the right dog care for your vacation will ultimately come down to personal preference, price, and availability in your neighborhood. With a little research into the services available in your area, you will be able to find just the right level of care for your fur baby, at a price you can afford.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.