We understand that leaving your dog behind in a kennel while on vacation can be stressful, especially if your pet has medical needs. Here, our Oklahoma City vets share tips to help lessen your anxiety about leaving your dog while on vacation and choose the best place to leave your dog while you're away.
Where To Leave Your Dog While On Vacation
You'll need to find suitable care for your canine companion whether you're going on a short business trip or a few-day vacation. Our veterinarians at Putnam North Animal Hospital recognize how challenging it can be to choose the form of care that is best for you and your pet, but doing some research on the options that are close to you and the features that each service provides can help you make a more informed choice.
Dog Boarding For Vacations & Time Away
Animals were once kept in cages for extended periods of time in gloomy, dingy pet boarding facilities, but things have changed. These days, your dog can enjoy playing and interacting with others while you're away and stay in a spotless facility with lots of love and care.
Animal boarding facilities today range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for dogs that require extra 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.
In most cases, the cost of a dog boarding facility is a reliable indicator of the caliber of service offered. If your dog stays in opulent hotel-style rooms with plush sofas to relax on and a TV to watch, you'll pay more than if you 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.
However, 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: A standardized daily schedule, including meal times and regular exercise times, is given to your pet when you board them. Pet socialization with other animals is also made possible by boarding. Facilities with on-site veterinarians and a staff of veterinary professionals may be the best option for your pet while you're away if your dog has a medical condition that requires medications or treatments.
- 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 Infection (colds) in cats.
Hiring a Dog Sitter
When interviewing for a dog sitter, always ask for a list of references as well as a list of qualifications. The cost of a pet sitter is determined by the level of service you select for your pet.
Dog sitters can help to protect your home by making it appear lived-in to passers-by. Hiring a live-in pet sitter will give you peace of mind that someone is looking after 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 advantage of hiring a pet sitter is that your dog may find it less stressful to stay at home. Other advantages of hiring a pet sitter include increased security and lower costs than some boarding facilities.
- Cons: Bringing a stranger into your home to care for your dog can be unsettling, and it's not for everyone. You may also discover that popular dog sitters in your area book up quickly and may not be available when you need them, especially during peak holiday periods like March break.
The Choice is Yours
Personal preference, price, and availability in your neighborhood will all play a role in determining the best dog care for your vacation or time away from home. With a little research into the services available in your area, you should be able to find just the right level of care for your pet at a price you can afford.
Note: This post is for informational purposes only. Putnam North Animal Hospital does not offer boarding for dogs.