The holidays can be stressful for a variety of reasons – crazy family interactions, the onslaught of millions of calories, flight delays are just a few of the big ones. But one stressor that often goes unmentioned is having to spend time away from your dog.
I am the first to admit that I have cut trips short because I miss my dogs. Unfortunately, I do not always have that option when family gets together, and I have been overruled a few times on how long our vacations ought to be. At those times, what is a devoted pet parent to do? The struggle is definitely real.
Option 1: Choose a trusted boarder. My dogs’ daycare also works as a boarding facility. The workers know them and my dogs trust them. I plan out my puppers’ food ahead of time, pack up their beds/DogSheetz, and we are good to go. I can call them and ask about my dogs’ general well-being. It’s a great option to have. Unfortunately, it is not the cheapest. Along with other holiday expenses, such as airline tickets and gifts, putting more than one dog into daycare can add a few hundred dollars to the end-of-year tab.
Option 2: Have a friend stay at your place. If a friend is available, this is extremely handy. Load the fridge up with food, make sure your friend knows the dog’s schedule, and leave your veterinarian’s information. For lots of people, this option is fantastic. Your pal can send you regular updates and photos to put any anxiety at ease. If your friend loves your dog and you have a great cable package, you might just have a new roommate once you return.
Option 3: Take your dog to a trusted friend’s house. Your dog will love this, especially if your friend has dogs of her own. I’m not saying that your dog won’t miss you, but their anxiety will be decreased if they can hang out with a buddy during your time away. If they are with both a canine pal and a human they trust, things might go smoothly. Just in case, be sure to bring your dog's DogSheetz with them so smells of their home will be there too.
Option 4: Hire a sitter. This one can be tough if you do not know the person. Letting a stranger into your house to take care of your dog might seem bonkers. However, with companies such as Wag! or Rover offering pet sitting dog walking services, you can rest a little easier knowing that they do background checks. There are also local dog-walking/dog sitting companies you can look into. It won’t be as pricey as boarding, and your dogs can snuggle in your bed even while you are away.
It is hard to say goodbye to your pets for the week or so that you’ll be away. But as long you know they are being well-cared for, you’ll have one less thing to feel stressed about during the holidays.