Going on vacation without your fur child? Check out these tips!

Leaving your furball for the first time, second time, or thirteenth time never gets easier. Whether you are leaving for a couple hours or several weeks it never feels good to know your pup is at home away from you. It’s challenging to head off to your vacation knowing that you’re pup will be in the hands of someone else. We all have a special way of taking care of our special family members. I spend more time with Pax than anyone else and understand his mannerisms, when he needs to be brushed, how to calm him down, when he’s hungry, and when it’s time to go potty . Leaving him is extremely uncomfortable for me for many reasons. First, I feel a lot of guilt. I feel that I shouldn’t be leaving him and that concerns me for when I become a human mom because I know how important it is for me to do my own thing. I think the other challenging thing is that Pax doesn’t speak English so he doesn’t understand when I say I’ll be back buddy. Next, I worry that someone else is not going to treat him like I would. 

We have used rover 3 different times. The first time we used rover we had a terrible experience with the couple watching him.  So, how did we make sure that didn’t happen again? We have interviewed about 20 people since that time. People often ask me if they can help out or watch him but we like paying for a service for those who work from home or that this is their full time work. I want Pax to be their main priority. I am an over communicator and as you know I love photos. The next two people we have used on rover have been fantastic. Sending multiple photos every couple hours, constantly checking in and putting me at ease. They have brushed him out knowing the importance for keeping his fur untangled, giving him kisses and belly rubs, listening to all of my instructions and asking more questions if they are confused. These are SO appreciated by a traveling mama. 

So, I bet you’re wondering what you need to do to prepare in leaving so here are some tips to check out before you leave your fur baby for vacation: 

  1. Figure out if you want a family member, friend, or service to watch your pup.
  2. If you have a family or friend - talk with them about payment and their schedule up front. 
  3. Recognize you’re expectations about dog sitting and what you truly need from someone. 
  4. If you’re going outside of family or friends- interview multiple people or canine services. 
    1. Questions to ask: 
      1. How long have you been doing this?
      2. How do you discipline dogs?
      3. What is the dog pees in the house?
      4. Do you have a dog?
      5. How many dogs do you watch at time?
      6. What type of exercise/activities do you do?
      7. What is your typical schedule when you are watching dogs?
      8. What do you do with the dogs if you need to leave the house?
      9. Where will my dog sleep?
      10. What information do you need from me?
  5. Write down all parts of your dog’s schedule including the food they eat and how much. 
    1. What to write: 
      1. Your name, phone number to reach you at, vet contact information 
      2. Emergency contact information, any dietary restrictions or allergies
      3. What to feed your pup and how much/times of day 
      4. What type of exercise your baby needs and how much
      5. Sleeping habits
      6. Bathroom habits
      7. Bathing needs/grooming needs
  6. Set up an interview - bring your pup to meet all the people you are interviewing. Watch the interaction both between you and the potential sitter and your pup and the sitter. 
  7. Trust your intuition and never be uncomfortable to ask for what you need and what your expectations of the individual or service. Remember it is always better to be transparent and upfront in the beginning rather than be reactive later on. 

Additional questions? Email me!

xoxo 

nikki