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How to Find Care For Your Dog While You’re Away

How to Find Care For Your Dog While You’re Away

How to Find Care For Your Dog While You’re Away

When your canine companion is also your BFF, you probably want to take them everywhere with you—the park, brunch, running errands, the list goes on. But there are some situations in which you simply can’t bring Fido along, whether that’s to work, on vacation or to a non-pet-friendly locale. And while some dogs do just fine staying home alone for short stints, there’s bound to come a time that you’ll need someone else to step in and care for your pup while you’re away. So how do you find the right person or place to look out for your furry friend? Keep reading for some options and helpful tips!

Friends and Family

Of course, the easiest place to start is within your trusted circle. It’s likely that your dog already knows your parents, siblings, best friends or closest neighbors, so if you’re comfortable, ask them to take care of your pooch while you’re away or stop by during the day for walks and snuggle sessions.

young girl walking 3 dogs

HELPFUL TIPS:

  • If your dog will be staying with a friend or family member, make sure to do a meet and greet between your pup and any resident dogs in the home prior to their first visit. That way, you can rest easy knowing all the canines get along while you’re gone. 
  • Make sure the caretaker has your established veterinarian’s contact info, as well as the closest emergency vet clinic in case your pup needs medical attention while you’re away. 
  • Return the favor! Offer to watch their dog in your home the next time they go out of town, or pop by to let their pup out for a walk if they have to work late. 

In-Home Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

Whether you’ll be out of town for a week or want someone to check in on your dog while you’re at work, a dog walking or pet sitting service can offer paw-some care and flexibility. Check out big-name services like Wag or Rover to find a sitter or dog walker in your area, or Google local pet sitting services to support a small business in the community.

HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Before signing up for a service, be sure to read reviews from other customers to guarantee your pooch will be in good hands. 
  • If possible, let your dog meet the pet sitter ahead of time so they’re familiar with them when they come for the first visit.
  • Make sure your pet sitter or dog walker knows how to use your preferred equipment for walks, whether that’s a special harness, a puppy coat or your Walkee Paws dog boot leggings! (Psst…send them our How to Fit video for step-by-step instructions.)
  • Clearly lay out any rules you want your caretaker to follow. Maybe that’s avoiding dog parks or on-leash encounters with other dogs, or not letting your pup chew their favorite dog bone on the couch. 

Community Dog Share

There are tons of dog lovers out there who—for one reason or another—simply aren’t able to have a pup all on their own, but crave the love and joy that canine companionship brings. Enter community dog sharing! This allows multiple people or families to share the care of a dog, and is especially helpful in alleviating some of the responsibility when you have a demanding work schedule, a pooch with separation anxiety, or you travel regularly.

multiple dogs wearing boots with dog walker

HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Use an app like Social Paws to make it super simple to locate fellow dog lovers who want to share the care for your pup (or at least take them on a walk every now and then!).
  • Make sure your paw-renting philosophy aligns with the other people or families you’re dog-sharing with. For example, consistency with food and walks are a best practice. This isn’t to say, however, that everyone has to have the same house rules. Your pup may understand to stay off couches in one home and that it’s ok to snuggle up in another. Communication, observation and flexibility are key to successful dog-sharing!

Doggy Daycare and Boarding Facilities

If you work outside of the home and your pup loves romping around with other pooches, doggy daycare is a great option to help them spend the day in the company of canines and burn some major energy. Similarly, dog boarding facilities can be paw-fect for your four-legged friend to hang out at if you’re traveling overnight, and many of them include the option for doggy playtime, plus perks like TVs in their “room” or a chance to splash in a pool. Think of it as a doggy hotel!

HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Try to stick with a certified boarding kennel, like those that are part of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. 
  • Take an in-person or virtual tour of the facility prior to your pup’s first stay. Ask questions about safety policies, what they do in case of a medical emergency, and whether they have 24-hour staffing if your dog will be staying overnight. 
  • If your dog plans to participate in playtime with other pups, do a trial run before committing to the service to make sure your pooch feels safe and fits in with the crowd. And if you know your dog does well with a particular type of pup (i.e. is most comfortable with a small group of dogs his size), make sure to let the facility know so they can tailor playmates to their preferences.