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What to do when you have to go away without your dog
There are times in life where we simply cannot be with our dogs, be it for a day or two or a holiday, so finding the right person to look after your furkid is very important. After all, they are family members too. Dog Listener Lucy Proctor has given us her advice on how to find the best environment for when you can’t be with your dog:
-Know your dog. If you know your dog wouldn’t handle a kennel situation then go for a home boarder. If you want to go a step further, get a pet/house sitter to live in your house to look after your dog while you’re away. This is especially handy if you have cats or other animals to consider too.
-Recommendation is by far the best way to go about this. Leaving your dog in the hands of a stranger can be a stressful time so going with someone by recommendation who knows their dog was happy with that person or organisation is the best way forward.
-If you are going to leave your dog with someone, make sure you are 100% happy with your decision. No matter how you found the pet sitter, meet them several times and go with your gut feeling. Bring a friend or family member, visit the person in their home, or the kennel where you will see the environment in which your dog will be staying. If you don’t like it, then move on to the next.
-Do not rush the process. If you know you are going to get a dog, then finding a dog walker, day care or boarding facility will more than likely crop up one day so don’t leave it to the last minute. These things take time.
-Social media can be a good way of finding a dog walker, day care or home boarder/pet sitter. Follow the ones you like the look of and see what they get up to day-to-day.
-Good home boarders get booked up well in advance, so be prepared to book 6 months ahead for a summer holiday, Christmas, Easter and School holidays etc. if you don’t want to be disappointed.
-Be aware that most boarding kennels will not take un-neutered dogs or bitches in heat, but a lot of home boarders will. (Not all but some)
-Make sure your dog is one that will be welcomed back! Ask yourself if your dog wasn’t yours, would you be happy with their behaviour in your home? Are they housetrained? Do they howl when left? Chew furniture? These are all things that will be taken in to consideration from a day care or boarding establishment. If your dog has separation anxiety, work with a professional to lessen the impact so you are able to leave your dog.
-Ask the person if your dog can have their own bed in their home so they have their own scent to settle in a little easier.
-Have several test runs to make sure your dog is happy with their new sitter. Book some dog walks with them and a couple of night sleep overs to acclimatise your dog. Allow them to get familiarised and comfortable with whomever you choose to look after your pooch whether you need it or not. Create a routine between your dog and the sitter for familiarity.
-Lastly, they must have insurance and a boarding licence. You can ask to see the paperwork.