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Should I Take My Dog On Vacation With Me?

Vacations can be year-round, from summer to winter and in between. That's why the question "what do I do with my dog while I'm on vacation?" is a year-round one. Fortunately, there are several options for you and your pup. We detail them below:

1. Take Your Dog With You

When planning a vacation, one option is to take your dog with you. This, of course, depends on where you're going and whether it's even possible to bring your pup along. Here are some questions to consider when including your dog in your vacation:

  • Transportation - how are you getting to your destination? The longer and more complex the commute, the less ideal for your dog. For instance, most dogs won't be able to join you if you're flying while a road trip, on the other hand, is much more doable.
  • Destination - is the location you're visiting dog-friendly or safe for dogs? For example, it's not a great idea to bring your dog to the desert in the summer.
  • Accommodations - does your destination have hotels or rentals that allow dogs? If not, or if there's no good dog-friendly option, it's tough to bring your pup along.
  • Itinerary - do you have activities you really want to do, places you really want to visit or plans you have your heart set on? If so (and they're not dog-friendly), you may not want to bring your pup along just to have him or her sit in the hotel or rental.
  • Your pup - is your dog's personality suited for vacations? For example, dogs who are happy-go-lucky and relaxed, he or she may love joining you. But if your dog is anxious, fearful or uncertain in new situations and environments, he or she won't do as well. 

2. Leave Your Dog At Home

If your vacation isn't suited for your pup, you can always leave your dog at home with trusted sitters. You can either hire a professional dog-sitter (through sites like or ask some nearby friends and family to watch your dog. In addition, you can ask the sitters to stay at your house or you can bring your dog to them.

Pro Tip: If you decide to hire a professional sitter, make sure they are qualified, well-rated and reliable. Also, it's recommended you do a meet and greet to make sure you are on the same page and allow your dog to become more familiar with them.

3. Boarding

Another great option, especially for social dogs, is boarding. Boarding involves taking your dog to a facility that houses several dogs during their people's vacation. Although your dog will get less one-on-one attention at boarding than if you hired a sitter, he or she will get to play and interact with other dogs. Plus, the facilities are staffed enough that your dog will still get some of that one-on-one time.

How To Prepare Your Dog For Your Absence

If you decide that it's best to leave your dog at home during your vacation, you'll want to do some preparation for both your dog and whoever is caring for him or her (be it a sitter or boarding facility). Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Prep food and any medicine -make sure there's enough food to last your entire trip and refill any medicine that's running low.
  • Leave instructions - how much food and how often to feed, which medicine needs to be given and when to give it, etc.
  • Provide contact information - give your phone number and even your vet's, in case of emergencies.
  • Prep your dog's belongings - like his or her dog bed, toys, treats, etc.
  • And spend extra time together before you head out!
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