Our resident guest blogger, Jessica, offers her take on being away for the holidays when you can’t bring your pet with you. Enjoy!
As much as you want your dog to stay by your side when you visit family to celebrate the holidays, it may be best for them not to come along. After all, traveling by car, train or plane can be an anxiety-inducing experience for your pup. There’s also the difficulty of adapting to a new environment once you arrive, not to mention that fact that some of your relatives might not take kindly to friends of the four-legged kind.
Don’t feel bad if you decide to leave them behind; just plan carefully to ensure their safety and well-being while you’re off munching on turkey or sipping eggnog with your loved ones. There are plenty of options available to meet any budget, so here’s a breakdown so you make the right choice.
Have Them Boarded
If you don’t have a friend who’s willing to take in your pooch, there are people in your area who will … for a fee, of course. An increasing number of dog lovers are opening their homes to four-legged guests, while offering additional services such as walks around the neighborhood and some playtime in the yard. This option is generally cheaper than hiring a sitter, though your dog has to get used to being in a strange environment.
Crate-train your pup before bringing them over, as they’ll want a safe space to retreat to while getting used to their temporary home. You can begin your mission to find the perfect enclosure by looking at reviews online, as there are plenty of models available for small and large breeds.
Ask a Friend to Visit
Your dog would stay in a familiar environment, providing some comfort even though their two-legged parent isn’t around to dole out belly rubs on the regular. Someone you trust would come over regularly to do precisely that, as well as open up the backyard for playtime after filling the food and water bowls, among other basic tasks. Just be sure to give them clear instructions about the care of your dog. If your dog is on the more mellow side and does well at home for long periods of time, you could install an electronic dog door and put out an automatic feeder, but it’s still a good idea to have a friend check on your pup a few times a day to make sure all is well.
Hire a Dog Sitter
This offers the same comfort to your pup: They know the surroundings and can follow the same routine when it comes to playing and eating. That’s because a sitter either stays at your home or pops by throughout the day to keep an eye on your beloved pet. The former runs between $75 and $85 per night on average, according to Thumbtack, while 30-minute visits cost about $25.
Bring Them to a Friend
Though being outside of their own home could test their nerves at first, your pup would get more attention throughout the day, especially if your friend’s a dog lover with a big yard. Leave a t-shirt or other item of clothing with your scent to calm your dog down if they get anxious, and a few chew toys make for excellent distractions as well.
Use the Kennel
This is what most likely comes to mind when you think of where to leave your dog while vacationing. According to PetCareRx, they cost between $25 and $45 per night on average while often offering extras, including training and grooming, making it an attractive option in terms of price and services. They’re not all the same, of course, so before selecting a kennel for your woofer, ask some questions about the grub and playtime.
Check Into a Hotel
This is the best option if you’re keen on spoiling your pooch. As you would expect, prices can be steep, with one location charging upwards of $200 per night for one guest, says a writer with CNBC. What does your dog get for that kind of cash? Perks like chef-prepared meals and even a doggy gym. Now, that’s luxury.
Do your research and choose wisely so you’re greeted by a healthy dog and a wagging tail when you come home. Don’t forget to bring them back some treats. Your pup deserves it!