While going on vacation is fun for us humans, it can be hard on your dog. The most frustrating thing about this for me has always been the fact that I can’t explain to my dog what’s happening. I can’t make the dog understand that I’m going away for a certain amount of time, and that I will return. It’s heartbreaking. This is where dog sitters come in handy. Arranging for dog pet sitting is a kind way to help your dog while you’re away. In this article, we’ll discuss how to find a good dog sitter your dog will love!
What is Dog Sitting?
Dog sitting is a kind alternative to putting your dog in a boarding kennel. Some dog sitters will let your dog stay in their home while you’re away, while others will come and stay in your home with your dog. Most veterinarians agree that dogs are happiest when they’re in their own home, though staying at a dog sitter’s house usually beats staying at a boarding kennel! Here are a few ways you can find a trusted dog sitter.
Using a professional dog sitting service is a great place to start to find a dog sitter you can trust. These companies screen their employees carefully to make sure your dog is getting the best care possible. If you decide to use a service like this, you can scan through the profiles of available dog sitters and pick one that you like. You can also look at reviews from other dog owners who have used that dog sitter! These sites usually offer a variety of pet sitting services from boarding to in-home pet sitting, to daily dog walking. I recommend HouseCarers.com as a good place to start. You can visit their website HERE.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
If you’re not comfortable having a stranger in your home to care for your dog, you could reach out to friends and family to see if anyone would be available and willing to care for your dog while you’re away. Having a family member or friend who your dog is familiar with will make your being away less stressful for your dog, and friends and family members may be able to be a bit more flexible and will likely care a little extra for your pet than a stranger.
This can also give you better peace of mind knowing it’s someone you know in your home while you’re away. You might also consider asking your neighbors, as this could turn out to be a mutually beneficial arrangement if they also have a pet you could sit for in return.
Your veterinarian may know of local dog sitters who can care for your dog. Your vet’s office may offer boarding services as well, which you might want to consider instead of in-home dog sitting if you have an elderly dog or a dog with health conditions. Having your dog in the company of veterinary staff while you’re away will give you extra peace of mind and a higher degree of care for your dog.
Go Over all the Details
Here are a few things you and your potential dog sitter may want to discuss, and things you should consider when choosing a dog sitter?
- Is their personality compatible to your dog?
- Do they have experience caring for dogs?
- Do they have a dog training philosophy? Make sure their methods of handling your dog will be kind.
- Go over everything that is expected like how many times your dog should be walked or let outside, when your dog should be fed, what and how much your dog eats, and how much time they’ll spend with your dog.
- Agree on what should be done and who should be contacted if there is an emergency.
Helping Your Dog with Anxiety While You’re Away
A change in your dog’s schedule, a new person being in your home, and you being away can be quite stressful for your dog. You can help your dog by putting a solid foundation in place to help keep your dog calm regardless of what’s going on. This can be accomplished with effective dog training to help your dog relax when it matters most. I recommend a program called, The Dog Calming Code, created by Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan.
Consistency is Key
Keeping your dog on a normal schedule is the best way to help your dog cope while you’re away. You and your dog sitter should be sure your dog is being fed, walked, and taken outside as close to their regular routine as possible. This will help to reduce your dog’s anxiety while you’re away. If you would like more information about finding a good dog sitter, check out Doggy Dan’s blog post, How to Find a Quality Dog Sitter/Walker Your Pup Will Love.
If you’d like to consider whether you should take your dog with you on vacation, read my article, Tips for Traveling with Dogs – Things to Consider Before You Go.
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