All kinds of questions pop up when a pet owner is contemplating leaving their dog at home while on vacation. Who will feed them? Will they play with them? Will they take the dog out as often as they need to? For how long? Last but not least, is the dog better off with a friend or neighbor or a professional sitter? It’s perfectly understandable that you’re worried about separation anxiety. You might even keep worrying about your dog after you leave, preventing you from relaxing on vacation, which defeats the very purpose of it.
You’re Not Alone
According to a recent survey, more than a third of dog owners decided against going on vacation to stay home with their beloved pets. Almost 40 percent of owners decided to drive to their holiday destination rather than flying. Every tenth owner hid the pooch in their luggage to sneak them into a hotel! Clearly, pet-friendly hotels still aren’t accessible everywhere.
Basically, the answer to our title question depends on the duration of your stay. If it’s just a few days, the dog will be fine at home. The risk of separation anxiety is minimal since you’re separated during the day anyway, more likely than not. Still, you need someone to come in and check upon them. You can ask a friend to come and keep them company or, at the very least, feed them and take them out. Alternatively, you can buy and install an automatic food and water dispenser to do away with the need to engage with an actual human being. Make sure you leave them a fun chew toy or a treat when you go. This will distract them from your absence.
Provide comfort items so the pooch is as happy as it can possibly be. Leave a lot of toys out and put their bed in a place that is easy to access.
If you’re planning on being away for a week or more, it’s a different story. Someone will need to come in once in a while, if not every day, and give them water, food, affection, and attention. Still, a week isn’t necessarily such a long time so as to take them to a kennel or a hotel like PetStay. The choice is yours. Ask a friend, neighbor, or sitter to come and care for them in your home or let them take the dog to theirs.
When choosing a care provider, there’s a golden rule – the more familiar their face, the better. Someone who your dog already knows will make them feel the most comfortable. The best option is to have someone stay in your home. The dog will get used to them quickly. If you can’t find someone they know, contact a sitter. Make sure they are competent, licensed, and professional. You need peace of mind knowing your fur baby is in good hands.
Getting Your Place Ready
Regardless of who will come to stay or stop by your home – a relative, neighbor, friend, or professional pet sitter – you need to set them up for success. To do this, provide them with everything they need to take care of your pooch as well as possible. Arrange the interior the way you want it to be, with certain areas inaccessible or some doors locked. Stock up on food and any medication necessary. Leave everything the care provider will need in an easy-to-access area, like a counter or a table. Place any doggy treats, harnesses, leashes, collars, extra food, doggy bags, and medication within easy reach. Supply your place with stain removers, air fresheners, doggy pads, and other cleaning materials. Get up to date on any vaccines required. Check that your registration is valid, if necessary, and see whether the tags are current.
If all of this seems like too much work, take them to a dog hotel. It’s luxurious, comfortable, and the well-trained staff will take care of everything.