Word Count: 558
Read Time: 2.5 minutes
The Main Idea: When your best friend can’t go with you, there are important considerations to ensure he is safe and happy.
1. Finding the right sitter for your dog
For referrals, ask people you trust who like dogs. This could be a friend, family member or neighbor. Also, your vet, breeder, groomer or trainer may have a suggestion in your area. A local doggy day care may have a recommendation. Then there are coworkers or members of a club you frequent. Social media such as Next Door might also have some recommendations.
Sitters come in many forms. Some sitters livefull-timee at your home, some board your dog in their home, and others offer drop-in services. They will walk your dog or play fetch, if needed, besides fussing over her, and giving her food and water.
Check out local boarding kennels. Not all run their programs equally. Ask for a tour of facilities, and what extras they provide. Also ask if daily updates are given. Make you also check online reviews.
2. Before you drop off your dog
Visit the sitter’s house or have them visit you if they are coming to your house. Or, if boarding at a kennel, visit the facilities. Will the sitter communicate daily?
Find out if they have a nanny cam you can watch, or if they take a daily photo.
Ask if the sitter has a pool or other dogs. Do they have safety guards for the pool? Do their dogs get along with new doggie visitors?
Do they have a fenced yard?
Do they have kids? Are the kids trained in respectful interaction and safety with dogs?
How much dog sitting, and/or general experience with dogs, do they have?
How much outside time will your dog have each day?
Where will your dog sleep?
Will your dog ever be driven in a car? Is there a safety harness? Will the dog be taken out of the car such as a park?
3. What to leave with your dog
Emergency contact information and backup contact
The name and phone number of your vet
Written exercise needs and what she likes (fetch, walks, etc.)
Words he knows (if it’s a labradoodle – there will be lots of them!)
4. Leaving your dog home alone for a few hours
If you will be gone for a few hours, or for the day, your home needs to be set up for this so that your dog is comfortable, safe and fed.
Purchase an electric dog feeder.
Install a doggie door so he can go outside for potty, or just take a nature stroll.
Purchase a dog water fountain or fill up several bowls with water in case she spills one over.
Have a ring doorbell or other camera where the dog usually hangs out so you can monitor.
Have a supply of chews and toys for your pooch.
A neighbor, friend or family member should be on call, in case you need someone to check your 4-legged buddy.
You know your dog best! Do your research and make the best decision for you and your dog.
Site to find dodog-friendly hotels: www.bringfido.com when bringing your dog along.
Information on how to make your dog more comfortable and entertained when home alone.