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Yearly holiday dilemmas...

Posted by Sociable Paws on June 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM

It's that time of year again. We may have had one week of sun but it's now returned to that dreary British rain. So out come our passports and online we go to book our holiday in the sun with endless beaches and warm blue seas without a cloud in sight.... well until we look up from our laptop and our eyes meet that gaze, the adoring ... "but what about me" gaze which makes our hearts melt and our stomach fill with guilt. That's right because although we crave that alluring holiday we also hate that gut wrenching feeling of leaving one family member behind, the four legged one who is always happy to see us no matter what.

Surely there must be a way of going on that fantastic holiday and knowing that our dog is going to have a fun time whilst we are away too? Well the answer is yes, you simply have to find the right arrangement and put a bit of work in first.

With the pet market growing there are endless options available but the three most common ones are kennels, and dog sitters who may sit at your house or keep your dog at theirs. So, how do you choose between them?

Think about your individual dog. Some dogs will do absolutely fine in kennels (I know mine has a whale of a time and trots off quite happily whilst tears flood down my cheeks). Others may prefer their home comforts and adapt less when their routine is changed so sitters might be the best option for them. No matter what you choose there are a few things that you should check out:

  • Ensure that they hold the appropriate insurance.
  • Get hold of some references from local vets and ex-clients.
  • If opting for kennels go and have a look around, make sure that you get to walk around the entire site and not just one kennel.
  • If opting for a sitter observe them interacting with your dog in the location they will be looking after him (your house or theirs).
  • Sitters and kennels offer different levels of care and interaction so ensure that you get written confirmation of what they will be providing your pet.
  • Find out what the vaccination protocols are for both kennels and pet sitters so that you can make sure your dog is covered well in advance as some may require kennel cough which isn't a routine vaccination.
  • Find out what their procedures are in case of emergencies as you don't want to get landed with an unexpected bill.

Whether choosing a kennel or sitter give your dog a road test with them for a weekend and see how things go. If you have any concers then choose somebody or something different, sometimes your gut is the best judge of a situation.

Whatever you do make sure that your pet is microchipped and all your contact details are up to date. If you really can't bear to leave your dog there are plenty of dog friendly holidays out there!

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