Going on a Trip? What about your dog?

By: Betty Ortman

When the time comes to leave your dog in the care of someone else, there are many options for dog owners to choose from. Some dog owners arrange to bring their dog to their veterinarian who will not only board the dog but during that time take care of all the routine vacations and grooming needs. Other dog owners prefer a boarding place where the dog has his own kennel and is taken on walks. Other boarding places have indoor facilities where the dog exercises all the time. There are also a lot of pet sitters who will take your dog into their home. Other sitting services will send someone to take your dog for walks and give the dog food and water. All these services will charge varies fees. Many of these services demand that your dog has all his shots, especially Bordetella to prevent kennel cough. Some lucky dog owners can also rely on friends and relatives to take of their pooch for a while. But those who do not have the financial resources to board the dog or do not have friends or relative close by should explore the internet, because help could be right in your neighbor.

Whatever arrangement you choose, of course, depends on you. What is important, however, is to leave critical information with the dogs care giver.

Make sure you spend a little time thinking about the things that make your dog (and you!) most comfortable when you are apart. Discuss these needs and wishes with the dog care provider beforehand. Many services have extensive questionnaires about you and your dog. However, in case you find someone who does not do this professionally, a list with facts about you and your pet should be provided. Here is a suggested checklist of information you might want to prepare for yourself and for the dog care provider. It’s not meant to be complete list – the more information about your dog you can give, the better!

1. Give a copy to your care giver. Ask if they have any questions

2. Take a copy of this list with you on your trip so you have the contact information of the care taker.

3. On the day of your trip or time away, review the list and gather everything the care provider will need for your dog.

You should call the caregiver immediately if your plans change like to return early or late!

Information you need to have:

Telephone number of owner, veterinarian and caregiver

Eating Habits (Measuring cups, pails, bowls, food, treats)

Toilet Habits (leave enough refuse bags)

Grooming needs (grooming utensils)

Exercise and play routines (leashes, toys)

Medications (pills, directions, dosing tools)

Fears the dog might have(i.e. fire works, sirens)

Copy of shot records

Other things the care provider must know about the dog

The right planning and the right caregiver can make this time enjoyable for you and your dog. Of course there is nothing better than coming home to a happy and healthy dog!

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