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What To Do With Your Dog When You Travel

We understand that leaving your dog behind when you're traveling can be stressful, especially if your pet has medical needs. Here, our Memphis vets share tips to help lessen your anxiety about leaving your dog while on vacation and choose the best place to leave your dog while you're away. 

Where To Leave Your Dog While On Vacation

Whether you are heading out on vacation for a couple of weeks, or off on a business trip for a couple of days, you will need to find appropriate care for your canine companion. At Southwind Animal Hospital our vets understand that deciding which kind of care is best for you and your pet can be challenging, but doing a little research into the options available near you, and what features each service offers, can help to make your decision easier.

Dog Boarding For Vacations & Time Away

While pet boarding facilities may once have been grim, dingy places where animals stayed locked in their cages for long periods of time, times have changed! These days your dog can have fun socializing and playing while you're away and stay in a fresh-smelling facility complete with plenty of love and attention.

Animal boarding facilities today range from pet spas and doggie summer camps to medical boarding for dogs that require extra attention, with price points that range from extravagant to affordable.

If you are in the process of deciding which boarding facility to take your dog to, be sure to check out a few different places in your area to find a facility that best suits the needs of your pet, and your wallet.

Facility Features

Price is typically a good indicator of the level of service provided at a given dog boarding facility. If your pooch will be treated to luxurious hotel-like spaces with comfy sofas to lounge on and tv to watch, you're going to pay more than you would to board your pet at a standard facility with roomy crates and fenced dog runs. 

If you want your pup to enjoy an active adventure while you're traveling, a fun camp experience may be ideal. Dog camps across the country offer loads of time for your dog to explore outdoors, as well as added facilities in some cases for swimming and playing with other dogs.

However, it's important to keep in mind that extravagant facility features don't necessarily add up to better care for your pet.

Choosing The Level of Service That's Right for Your Dog

Pet care while for while you're on vacation will typically be priced based on the level of service you choose. Luxury accommodations will be far more expensive per day than a standard kennel.

Standard care for dogs at most pet boarding facilities includes:
  • A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in
  • Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs
  • Breakfast served in the kennel
  • Out of kennel playtime in the middle of the day to allow your pooch to burn some energy
  • Dinner served in the kennel
  • Evening bathroom break
Other services commonly available at pet boarding facilities:
If you are looking for something a bit more special than a standard boarding facility, many facilities also offer the following services:
  • Specialized veterinary care
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Shuttle services to and from the facility

The Pros & Cons of Boarding Your Dog While You're On Vacation

  • Pros: Pet boarding provides your pet with a standardized daily routine that many dogs crave including meal times and exercise times on a regular schedule. Boarding also gives pets an opportunity to socialize with other animals. If your dog has a medical issue that requires medications or treatments, facilities with onsite vets and a team of veterinary professionals may be right for your pet while you're away.
  • Cons: Being away from home can be hard for some animals. Pets can become nervous or anxious in new environments which could lead to altercations with other animals at playtime. Pets in boarding facilities also face an increased risk of contracting contagious illnesses such as kennel cough in dogs or Feline Upper Respiratory Infection (colds) in cats.

Hiring a Dog Sitter

When interviewing for a dog sitter be sure to request a list of references as well as a list of qualifications. How much you will pay for a pet sitter will depend upon the level of service you choose for your pet.

Dog sitters can help to protect your home by keeping your place looking lived-in to any passers-by. Hiring a live-in pet sitter will allow you to rest assured that someone is caring for your home at night.

Extra Services Available From Some Pet Sitters:

If your dog requires more care than just feeding and being let out a few times a day, some pet sitters offer additional services such as:
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Frequent walks
  • Housekeeping

The Pros & Cons of Hiring a Pet Sitter

  • Pros: The primary benefit of hiring a pet sitter is that your dog may find it less stressful to stay at home. Other benefits of hiring a pet sitter include the increased security of having someone in your home, and pet sitters can be less expensive than some boarding facilities.
  • Cons: Bringing a stranger into your home to care for your pooch can be uncomfortable, and certainly isn't for everyone. You may also find that popular dog sitters in your area book up very quickly and may not be available when you need them, particularly at peak holiday times such as March break.

The Choice is Yours

Choosing the best dog care for your vacation, or time away from home will ultimately come down to personal preference, price and availability in your neighborhood. With a little research into the services available in your area, you will be able to find just the right level of care for your fur baby, at a price you can afford.

Medical & Standard Boarding Your Pet at Southwind Animal Hospital

At Southwind Animal Hospital we understand that it can be stressful to leave your pet - especially if they are ill, or when they are recovering from a procedure or surgery. Our goal is to put help put your mind at ease by providing your dog with the care they need while you're away.  We provide complete boarding services for pets with a disease or medical condition that requires medication and/or monitoring that some standard boarding facilities may not be equipped to accommodate.

We also offer standard boarding for healthy dogs who need a safe and friendly place to stay while you're away. 

Learn More About Boarding at Southwind Animal Hospital

Looking for a friendly and welcoming dog boarding facility to keep your pup safe and happy while you are on vacation? Contact our Southeast Memphis vets today to book a preliminary tour of our boarding kennel.

Golden retriever and white terrier playing together outside at dog boarding facility. Southeast Memphis Vet

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