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Traveling When You Own A Dog

Traveling When You Own A Dog

Having a dog is a big responsibility, but one that is definitely worth experiencing. Once you have a dog, you must consider them just like you would another member of your family when making decisions like staying overnight away or planning a family vacation. A pet owner has to decide if they will need a pet-sitter, a boarding facility reservation, or if they will be able to take their pet with them on a trip.

If traveling for work, it is not always reasonable to take a pet with you. In this situation I have personally used different boarding facilities and have also opted for having a sitter come care for my dog at home. I will say, this is not my preferred option. I like traveling with my pets and here is the reasons why;

  1. Boarding Facilities
    I have had to use these on multiple occasions and it’s the same situation every time. My dog(s) have cried at drop off and tried to leave with me. I cry because I worry for them and am going to miss them. No matter how nice the facilities are, I know my dog spends most of the time in a “cage” with little interaction and none of my dogs are used to this. Another reason, I do not like to board them is because on more than one occasion (even though they are up-to-date on all vaccines), I have picked up my dogs and one or both of them have been sick with digestive illnesses. It could be due to nerves but also makes me wonder about sharing germs just like when a child begins daycare or school. Even though it is not my preferred method of care, sometimes you do what you have to do. There is not always an option to have someone care for your dog at theirs or your home, so a boarding facility is a means of care for a temporary amount of time.
  2. Pet Sitter
    Having a sitter come to care for your dog in your own home while you have to be away is the best case if you can’t take your dog with you. They don’t have to establish a new environment, and they get to enjoy all of the comforts of being in their own home. This limit’s your pets stress since they are probably going to be a little confused with you being away. Keeping everything else as normal as possible is good for your dog or pets. While I like the option of having a sitter come to my home best, some sitters offer care inside their own homes. I think this is a good alternative if you can’t have someone come to you. This way at least you know the sitter will be around more often than in a boarding facility. They often will have good schedules for spending time outside and with direct attention too. It’s always important to find out about other dogs that may be staying there or other pets in the home. For some less-socialized animals, having other pets in the home that is already new can be a problem.
  3. Traveling With Your Pet
    While it takes a little extra planning and packing, my first choice above all is traveling with my pets. With so many pet-friendly resources available nationwide, traveling with your pets has never been easier. When we go on vacations, I like to find pet-friendly homes through booking services like VRBO or Expedia. Housing accommodations like these are the most comfortable for everyone and has plenty of space for your doggy essentials inside and out. They usually are equipped with walking space outdoors, and are not attached to other homes so that your dog making the occasional bark won’t be a bother to others. If you do end up needing to stay in a hotel, there are many convenient pet-friendly options available for this too. Some pet-friendly hotels even offer welcome packages with food, treats, and a convenient doggy-park for walking and relieving. Check out my favorite pet-friendly hotels here.

If you are needing or wanting to travel and own a dog, no matter which option you choose for pet care, there is a strong possibility that you will need to pay. Unless you have a family member who just loves your pet, you probably will have to pay either boarding fees, sitting fees, or a pet deposit where you stay with your dog. Checking out all of the costs involved before making a decision can be helpful. Even though I prefer to travel with my dogs rather than leave them behind, I have found that this is usually the most economical option available. Another point of concern for traveling while owning pets is to make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccines. Having this proof of this information will be the case no matter which option you choose. Boarding facilities, reputable sitters and housing accommodations all require this when booking.

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