There comes a time for all of us when we have to go away without our dogs. As sad as it is to leave behind our furry children sometimes they just can’t come along [I try to make this as infrequent as possible because I just miss them too much!]. I’ve spent the past week in the sunshine of Puglia, Italy, so I thought I’d share some advice on what to prepare for your dogs before you go away.
- Find someone who you trust to look after your dogs. In our case I either use home boarding with the girls from doggy daycare, or I use a house sitter to stay at home with the dogs and all the rest of my animals. I strongly dislike kennels for many reasons, this is just a personal opinion but I much prefer the dogs staying in a home just like their normal routine. When using kennels or home boarding prepare in advance to go along and visit them. With or without your dogs they will show you around and give you an insight into where your dog will be staying [If they refuse to show you round then alarm bells should ring & it’s probably not the place for your dog]. Get to know them and ask any questions that you have on your mind – when & where are they walked, are they socialised, will they administer medication for your dogs etc. Before you book your dogs in make sure that the dog sitter has a chance to interact with them. Watch how they behave and hopefully your dogs will love them almost as much as they love you! If you use a house sitter find someone you know already or give yourself time to get to know them as well as introducing your dogs.
2. When you leave make sure your dogs are wearing tags with all the correct details on – your mobile number so you can be contacted, a home number if they’re staying in your house & if you wish to go one step further engrave the mobile number of your dog sitter also.
3. Something that I do every time I go away is take a photo of my dogs just before I go and save it as my screen saver. I have thousands of photos of them but I take a quick iPhone shot before I leave just to remember their faces [As if I could forget them!]. Other than this being sentimental it is important to take a photo just before you leave. This is incase the worst happens and they happen to go missing whilst your away, you can circulate this photo on missing posters. The reason to take a fresh photo rather than using an old one is because they will look exactly the same in real life. Using old photos they can look completely different with coat change or haircuts.
Of course something I always ask is to be sent photos of the dogs. I love seeing what they get up to whilst I’m away and to check they’re ok.
I hope this advice helps someone, even if only a little. If you’re planning on going away soon without your dogs I hope you have a lovely time & try not to miss them too much!
Megan, Woody & Wilma