Where should you leave your dog when going on vacation?

Going on vacation is a fun and exciting time for almost everyone involved. Whether you’re booking a weekend away or a 14-day cruise, getting away from the typical routine is always a positive experience. For families with dogs, it’s important to consider where your furry companion is going to be staying while you’re enjoying yourselves. If this is your first time trying to determine what to do with your dog, the options may seem overwhelming. Before making a decision, consider these possible boarding options for your dog.

Pet Hotels or Dog Kennels

If you’re looking for a reliable and dependable option for your dog while you’re away, the first step will be to look at the best pet hotels. A pet hotel is a licensed and insured facility that will care for your canine while you’re away. Some centers may offer elaborate options, ranging from bathing, swimming, extended outdoor time, and plenty of walks throughout the day, while others prefer to have a “home-like” setting. 

The costs for these services can vary substantially, depending on the included perks or benefits, so always contact the facility to find out an inclusive price before booking. Likewise, it’s always essential to ensure the facility is certified through the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA). 

Pet Sitting Services

Should your dog prefer the comforts of home, looking into pet sitting services may be a reliable option while you’re away. Some pet sitters will provide your dog with walks, feedings, and playtime services throughout the day without your pet having to stay on-site. This option is particularly beneficial for aggressive or anxious dogs that don’t do well around other animals but can be significantly more expensive than a boarding facility. 

Some pet sitters will only offer the services throughout the day, while other service providers provide in-home services. Essentially, they’ll live in your home throughout your vacation. Always make sure to find a reputable and preferably licensed individual before allowing them access to your residence. Likewise, it’s always a good idea to flush out a contract of services before you leave.

Family, Friend, or Neighbor

Having a reliable and trusted friend watch your dog while you’re on vacation can be a cost-efficient way to keep your canine happy. Perhaps you have a neighbor that your dog loves who feels comfortable feeding, walking, and playing with your dog throughout the day. Maybe a family member owes you a favor. Either way, this option can be cost-efficient, but it doesn’t come without potential drawbacks

It’s important to remember that a family member is likely to be doing you a favor, and should an issue arise, it may strain the relationship. Additionally, you’ll have to trust the individual enough to show up and care for your pet while you’re unavailable. Make sure you source this person carefully, preferably choosing an adult with a predictable schedule.

In-Home Pet Boarding Services

Similar to traditional boarding services, in-home pet boarding offers a hybrid solution to conventional pet sitting services. Your dog is brought to the pet sitter’s home for the duration of your vacation. During this time, he’ll stay on their property instead of yours. These services are an ideal way for your dog to socialize with other dogs but can potentially pose problems for shy or timid pups. 

While in-home boarding services can be suitable for those owners wanting more personalized attention for their dog, they can be pretty costly, depending on the provider. In addition, many dog sitters will only allow a specific number of dogs at their home at one time, potentially causing scheduling issues without proper notice. Make sure you ask any in-home boarding service for a list of prior clients, particularly if you’ve never used their services before. 

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