Sam the excited dogIt always seems like the easiest option for taking care of your dog when you are going out of town. Your friends or relatives who live close by already know your dog or puppy, so it just makes sense to have them babysit. Right?

Maybe. It all depends on the situation, and the amount of preparation you need to do in order to be sure that your dog and you will be comfortable with the arrangement.

  • Have you considered this option from the dog’s perspective?
  • How much will it cost you, and what will it cost your friend or relative?
  • How much time will it take to prepare your dog for the trip?

Here are some things you may want to think about before asking your friend or relative to babysit your dog:

If Your Dog is Staying At Your Home

Routines For Your Dog

Make sure you do a preliminary visit with the person that is planning on coming to watch your dog. Making a list of the various daily routines that you have with your dog can be very helpful. This is especially imperative if you have any routines in place for behavior training. You should walk the sitter through any exercises that you perform with your puppy, so that your dog does not fall back on their progress in training. Another option is to go with a facility that offers ongoing training while you board.

Taking Care Of Your Dog’s Needs

Put everything the sitter will need in one easy to locate place. This includes dog food, dog bowls, treats, toys, leashes, and any medicine that your dog may need. It is also helpful to make sure that you have plenty of extras on hand as well. Talking your friend or relative through your dog’s eating habits, or making a list, can be very helpful to making sure that your dog receives everything they need.

Costs For Dog Care

The compensation you give for pet sitting your dog will likely depend on the relationship you have with your friend or relative. Either way, most people will expect some type of compensation, even in the form of a returned favor. In addition, If your friend or relative will be making frequent trips to your house, make sure you at least offer to cover their transportation costs. It’s better to make the offer and figure out compensation beforehand, than to make an assumption and have to deal with an upset friend or relative.

If Your Dog is Going to Stay at a New House

dog and cat outsideFocus On Your Dog’s Routines

Because your dog will be in a different home, it is even more important to make sure whoever is watching your dog knows specific routines that you have in place. This will ensure that your dog stays comfortable and happy, and you do not come back to more work getting your puppy back into their routines.

Preparing For Your Dog’s Needs

Make sure that you bring everything your dog could possibly need at the sitter’s home. To be extra prepared, you should make sure that you provide extra supplies in case your vacation or travel plans change.

An Unfamiliar Environment

It is always helpful to have a preliminary visit with your pet to the house they will be staying at while you are gone. Though your puppy may know your friend or relative, they might not have familiarity with the house or extra people and other pets they will be staying with. Having a preliminary visit will allow you and the sitter to make sure this arrangement will work well for both of you.

Other Needs For Your Dog While You’re Gone

  • Leave an extra key to your house with a neighbor in case your friend or relative has something unexpected occur and they cannot take care of your dog while you are gone.
  • Your Veterinarian should have your sitter’s information as an alternate care provider while you are gone, in case your puppy has to take a trip to the clinic.
  • Make sure your dog has properly marked ID Tag’s (and make sure they are  microchipped)
  • Provide all necessary information for your dog’s care in writing. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure that your friend or relative knows the exact details of your dog’s dietary needs and routines.
  • If your dog has complicated grooming needs, take care of them before leaving them with your friend or relative, or make sure you give detailed instructions on how to take care of your dog in your absence.

Leaving your dog or puppy with a friend or relative may seem like a convenient idea at first. However, there are a lot of situational factors that must be considered before deciding whether you want to entrust your dog’s care with a friend or relative. An easier option is to take your dog to a professional pet boarding facility like DogBoy’s Dog Ranch. Contact us today with any of your questions about dog boarding or come take a tour.



Image Permissions:

Sam by Ruth Lozano

Dog and Cat by Lori