Taking a holiday without your dog

So we are leaving for Europe this Saturday for a few weeks and Rufio (and I!) are devastated that we won’t be seeing each other for a while. There are many different options these days for someone to look after your beloved dog in your absence. Whatever you decide to do, remember to make plans for your dog well ahead of time.

Taking a holiday without your dog Treats a la Bark

Options include:

  • Have someone house sit. They can also look after your home and bring in your mail.
    You should make sure whoever is house sitting is someone trustworthy and 100% reliable. Remember that you are leaving the care of your dog solely to this person while you’re away. Preferably this person should be a close friend or family member. Make sure that you leave clear instructions on your dog’s routine for feeding, exercise and any other special needs. Ideally, you should get the person to stay over for a trial run so that they can experience first hand what they will need to do. This person should also have enough knowledge of animal health and behaviour to know if things aren’t right.  Be sure to leave your vet’s name, phone number and address in case your dog becomes unwell while you are away. You should also leave your emergency contact numbers or give prior authorisation for someone to act on your behalf in case your dog needs veterinary attention. Some vets may be reluctant to perform surgery without the owner’s consent. In any case, make sure you leave a list of people to contact just in case there are any emergencies. If your dog gets lost, whoever is minding your dog should have a list of contacts including your local council, adjoining councils, local vets and animal welfare shelters.
  • Leaving your dog with a professional dog minder
    There are professional dog minding services available where your dog goes to stay in the home of a carefully-screened minder.  Usually these services will let you bring your dog’s usual food, their bed and some of their favourite toys so that your dog has something familiar from home.  It is essential that you meet the minder so that you go away feeling totally comfortable that your dog will be in good hands. The dog minder should have a fully fenced yard and must have proper experience with dogs. Make sure you check their references and that they are able to accept the responsibility of caring for your dog. You should make sure the minder has all your local vet details and your emergency contact details.
  • Leave your dog at a boarding kennel
    Write down a list of kennels close to you or ones that friends have recommended. Many vet hospitals offer boarding for dogs and some boarding kennels are even located close to airports. Visit any kennels where you plan to leave your dog BEFORE booking your dog in. You want to make sure your dog will be properly looked after. Come prepared with questions, chat to the owners and ask to see where the dogs are kept.

    • Do the dogs already staying there look happy?
    • Do they all have access to fresh, clean water?
    • Does the accommodation look and smell clean? Is it well lit and ventilated?
    • Will your dog be comfortable? I.e warm enough in winter, and cool enough in summer.
    • Is there enough space for the dogs to run and play? What exercise will your dogs get? Are they walked each day? How much time each day will your dog have in the exercise area?
    • Is there a vet on site or nearby? What happens in the event of an emergency?
    • Will vaccination certificates be required?  If not, ask why. Proper boarding kennels will need proof of vaccination against kennel cough.

Whether your dog goes to a boarding kennel, a dog minder or stays at home, they should always be wearing a collar with an ID tag and also be microchipped.

We have family coming to house sit while we are away so they will be able to look after Rufio which is lucky. Doesn’t mean we still won’t miss him!

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