It is hard to believe, but summertime is right around the bend! For many of us, that means time to take a well-deserved break somewhere fun. Whether that’s surf and sand or mountains and trails, planning ahead makes all of the difference when you have a pet.
There are two possible options for the vacationing pet owner – take you dog along, or board them at a kennel or pet resort. Either option you choose will require some special planning.
Taking your dog on vacation
- Begin looking early – If you decide to bring your dog along, make sure you begin searching for accommodations as early as possible. There are far fewer rentals and hotels that allow pets than those that don’t. If you’re going to a summertime hot spot, you can never start looking too early.
- Get them used to their crate – Some owners don’t crate their dogs at home. If you’re one of them, make sure you get your dog used to staying in a crate a month or two before the trip. In an unfamiliar hotel room or rental house, leaving your dog unattended could result in them getting into something that’s dangerous to them. They could also end up damaging something you don’t own.
- Design activities you can include them in – When planning your vacation itinerary, plan lots of activities where your dog can join in the fun. If you chose to take your dog along on your trip, keep in mind that it should be fun for them too. Sitting alone in their crate all day in an unfamiliar place can be very stressful on a dog. Allow for plenty of time for exercise and inclusion in activities.
Boarding your dog
- Bring them over for a visit – If you’re taking your dog to a new boarding facility, bring them for a visit ahead of time. That way they’re familiar with it before you drop them off for a longer stay.
- Pack what’s familiar – When you’re boarding your dog, bring as many things that remind them of home as possible. Just like dropping a kid off at camp with the blanket they have on their bed at home, your dog will appreciate having toys and treats they recognize. Also, be sure to pack enough of the food they’re used to.
- Reserve your dates early – Many kennels and pet resorts (Woodlands included!) book out for the summer months well in advance. Talk to your family and book your hotel accommodations as soon as you know what direction your summer travel plans will be taking you. As soon as your dates are set, call and reserve a room for your dog. That way, you don’t have any last minute scenes trying to convince your neighbor or a friend you haven’t seen in forever to watch your dog for you while you’re away!