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Leaving your dog while on holiday

Where to leave your dog when you go on holiday

With the peak holiday season fast approaching, many of us will be faced with the dilemma of what to do with our pets if we are booked to go away.

When it comes closer to travel time, it might appear like your puppy is psychic with pet owners claiming that their dogs have a knack for knowing when they’re going away.  

It’s important to prioritise preparations of what to do with your pet while on vacation.

What can I do with my dog when I go on holiday?

There are many different options for making sure your pet is well looked after while you go away.

The right option for you will largely depend on your pooch, availability and even budget.

Options for dog holiday care

  • Professional Pet Sitting

A great option for your pooch is to have them stay in their own home while you’re away.

This way you don’t need to put them through the stress of being away from home and travelling to a new location.

The main option involved in this is whether you want to arrange for the sitter to stay in your home until your return or if you’d prefer that the professional pet sitter visit daily/multiple times a day.

  • Dog Kennels

This is the traditional boarding route where you take your pet to a dog kennel where they’ll stay whilst you’re away.

It’s important to make sure that they’ll get plenty of access to entertainment, exercise, mental stimulation and even playtime with other pooches.

You should always do plenty of research before leaving your pooch with a dog kennel. It’s important to make sure that not only you’re happy with the dog kennel facilities but the staff too.

Wherever possible, you should watch the dog kennel staff interacting with your favourite furry friend to make sure that it’s a good fit.

  • In-Home Pet Boarding

This is a good option if you would prefer a hybrid option between professional pet sitters who visit your dog in your own home and dog kennels.

You would take your pooch to the professional pet sitter of your choice. They would then look after your puppy while you’re on holiday.

This offers the benefit of a more comfortable boarding option than a dog kennel but often isn’t as expensive as having a professional dog sitter come and stay or visit your home.

  • Family, friend or neighbour caring for your dogFamily, friend, or neighbour

If you have local family, friends or even neighbours who are willing and able to pet sit for you.

Whether you prefer the option of your dog staying in their houses or they simply visit daily/a few times of day to check in on your canine companion.

If your dog is staying with someone you know, you should always consider their environment to make sure your pooch will be happy and safe.

For example, if your dog is used to being the only animal in the house and then they’re forced to cohabit with other dogs or cats, this can distress them.

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  • Bring them with you!

Although not always an option, bringing your dog with you on holiday can be a great choice. Not only does it mean that you and your puppy won’t need to be separated, but it’s great to be able to offer your dog the opportunity of exploring and travel with you.

It’s important to make sure there is nothing prohibiting your dog from joining you on your holiday. Things like travel, holiday, activities and even location should be considered first to make sure it’s pet friendly.

7 Tips for Leaving Your Pet While on Vacation

1. Crate train before you go

Consider crate training to ensure they have a consistent safe space to escape when things get overwhelming. Crate training can help your puppy get used to your absence.

Read more tips for helping your dogs deal with separation anxiety.
2. Do your research first

Make sure you do your research first before leaving your treasured pet in an unknown or unfamiliar environment. It’s important that they are familiar with Dog First Aid.   

3. Routines are important

Make sure that your option is considerate of your routine to minimise stress and disruption for your pet.

4. ID and vaccinations are up to date

Ensure that their identification and vaccinations are up to date regardless of which option you decide on.

5. Share your commands

Make sure that whoever looks after your dog is familiar with the commands you use e.g. ‘sit’ and ‘stay’.

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6. Keeping them entertained is key

They should be kept busy and entertained wherever possible if you’re leaving your pet behind. This should help distract them from your absence and make time go quicker.

7. Familiarity to soften your absence

Using familiarity can limit the impact your absence has on your pets. Whether it’s toys, bedding, or even familiar people. This can go a long way to making your pooch comfortable in your absence

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