HappyDog Journal

Educational Platform for Dog Happiness and Their Guardians

Dog Boarding: How to Leave Your Dog During Vacation and Not Worry

Every pet owner is familiar with the pressing question of who to leave their furry friend with during their absence. This is where a dog sitter can come to the rescue - a specialist who takes care of the pet while the primary caregiver is away on a business trip or vacation. The dog sitter looks after and walks the dog, performs necessary procedures, and follows all the familiar routines of the dog's life. If you are considering the services of a dog sitter, you will definitely need this list of six key criteria for preparing your dog for boarding.
Девушка присматривает за собакой во время отпуска ее хозяев

Table of contents

1. Where will your dog be more comfortable – at your place or on boarding?

First and foremost, you need to determine where the boarding will take place: at your home or at the specialist’s place.
Inviting the sitter to your home is undoubtedly easier for the dog. Despite the stress of being separated from you, the familiar home environment will help the dog adapt more quickly.

If you have decided to leave your pet with a sitter at his territory, make sure to arrange a day for getting acquainted in advance. Visit their home and simply get to know the specialist and the residents of their house. It will be less distressing for the dog to stay in a place where it has already been and with familiar people.

2. Get to know the sitter in advance

Ask about their methods of interacting with animals and provide detailed instructions about your dog. Create a checklist with all the specifics of your dog: feeding, care, health considerations, daily routine, and also share information about your walks and their intensity. It would be great if you can go on a joint walk with the specialist and personally explain and demonstrate how to behave in different situations with your pet. And remember – it is extremely important for the dog to maintain its familiar rituals and behavioral rules, as it provides predictability and reduces stress levels.

3. Consider your dog’s characteristics when choosing new friends

Every animal is unique, and not every dog or cat companion of the sitter will be suitable for your pet. If you believe that your pet is open to socializing and you choose a boarding facility where there are already other dogs, it is important and necessary to introduce them on the street. This will help them establish friendly relationships in the future.

If the sitter has a cat, choose them only if you are absolutely sure that your dog will get along with the cat.

4. Provide all the necessary items for dog boarding

Gather all the necessary items that are familiar to your dog’s daily life, including their bed with the scent of home, all their equipment, a first aid kit, their regular food, and treats. Most importantly, don’t forget to leave your pet’s passport and the contact information of their veterinarian with the clinic’s address for emergencies. Dogs are living beings, and it is crucial to be prepared for any situation. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it will give you peace of mind.

Checklist: What to provide with the dog

1. Dog’s familiar food. It’s better to have an extra supply. If the dog is on a raw or homemade diet, frozen portioned containers are the best solution.

2. Familiar treats.

3. Food and water bowls.

4. Dog’s bed.

5. Equipment (harness, leash)

6. Unwanted clothing with the scent of the owners.

7. Kong toy, lick mats/snuffle mats (if available).

8. Poop bags.

9. Dog’s favorite toys.

10. Necessary medications for the dog, if applicable.

11. Grooming supplies, if needed to maintain the condition of the coat (shampoo, conditioner, brushes).

12. Dental care items, if needed to maintain dental health (toothbrush, toothpaste).

13. Bathing essentials (towels, paw soap).

14. Veterinary passport with up-to-date vaccinations, veterinarian’s contact number.

5. Ensure that the sitter’s daily routine is comfortable for your dog

Some dogs have a difficult time coping with loneliness, and for them, caregivers who work remotely will be the most comfortable option. This is especially relevant for small puppies who require constant supervision. It is particularly important for anxious and special-needs dogs.

6. Arrange a couple of trial visit days

If you are still concerned, arrange a couple of trial boarding days. This way, you can ensure that the specialist is a good fit for you and that your pet is in reliable hands. These trial visits will also make it easier for your dog to adapt during subsequent stays.
And remember, for a dog, a change in their familiar life can be quite an anxious event. While some dogs may quickly and easily adapt to a new environment, others may experience stress for weeks and have a harder time recovering, becoming more excitable and mischievous. Both you and the specialist should be prepared for this.

Share this article:


Специалист по поведению собак Елена Коробенкова
Dog behavior specialist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to new articles

Or leave your email to receive articles in your inbox