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Not Home Alone: Finding a Pet Care Giver

Updated on July 17, 2012
A New Years' Getaway may be good for both you and your dog.
A New Years' Getaway may be good for both you and your dog.

Welcome all to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer- the time for vacations, or day trips. If you have a pet, this can cause you to pause. You can’t always take your precious best friend everywhere. In fact, sometimes, it is best if he or she remains at home while you gallivant around the globe, the country or province/state. When this is the case, you need to come up with a plan.


You can choose from several potential solutions. These include:

  • Doggy Day care – if you are going for the day
  • Doggy camp or vacation places
  • Kennels
  • Your Vet’s
  • The breeder from whom you got your dog
  • A sitter
  • A close friend or neighbour

All are viable options. They can provide an answer to your problem. Your choice may depend upon the environment to which your dog responds best. It may also rely on other factors

Factors affecting Your Choice

Your dog and pet sitter must be a good fit. Before you decide on what choice, you need to look at several variables that may affect the decision to choose one means over another.

  • Age – as a dog gets older, it is often best to leave them in familiar surroundings. This reduces the amount of adjustment he or she may have to make.
  • Breeder – if your dog is happy to visit his parents, brothers, sisters and other relatives, and the breeder welcomes back his or her dogs, this can be a good fit.
  • Origins – if your dog was a foster dog or foundling or “second-chance” or any of the names given to dogs for whom you are not the original owner, depending upon his or her temperament, staying home is the best option. To place them into a kennel, doggy camp or veterinarian lodging may make them feel abandoned once again. Your dog may think you are not their “forever home.”
  • Temperament – Some dogs love being around others. They love Doggy Day care and would have an amazing time at Doggy Camp. Others enjoy being among the familiar. They like being at home. As for boarding at the Vet’s? If going to the Vet’s induces anxiety and stress, perhaps this is not the best place to board your dog.
  • Health – If your dog has health issues, boarding at the Vet’s may be the right answer. If he or she is in great health, any of the options may provide optimal care.
  • Familiarity – If you have someone you hire to walk your dog while you are at work, this is a logical choice to make. If they are not available, they might know someone who is reliable and can take on the responsibility.

Whether you decide on boarding out or keeping your do in house, you need to plan how you are going to do this. You also need to screen carefully who is going to take care of your dog while you are gone. With this in mind, be sure you investigate the potential caregivers. Prepare a set list of questions to ask when you interview them. Ask for multiple references whenever applicable. Have an in-home visit to see how your dog reacts to him/her and how the individual interacts with your dog


When you leave your dog at home, you need to make sure he or she will be safe and comfortable while you are away. You will be trusting the life of your dog to someone else, so do not jump at the first option. Be sure to do your homework. Ask about their qualifications and make time to check their references. Taking the right initial first steps will help you and your dog both enjoy this time apart.


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    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      4 years ago

      This is really great information to think about when you wish to travel, now that summer is right around the corner. I don't see a vacation in the cards this year, but it is good to know I have options. :-)

      Shared and Up!

    • profile image

      Diane Ward 

      6 years ago

      As a dog sitter myself i really appreciated this article. well done


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