Even the most devoted pup parent sometimes needs to be away from home. Do you know who you can count on to care for your dog while you're away? Today, our Austell vets share advice on what to do with your dog when you travel. 

Dog Care for Vacation

It can be a challenge to find a safe place you can rely on to care for your dog while you're on vacation or away from home. Whether you're on your way out of the country to enjoy some sun and sand for a couple of weeks or are off to a business conference for a few days, you'll need to find suitable care for your pup. 

Our team at Bullard Animal Hospital understands that deciding what type of care is best for you and your dog can be confusing. That said, doing some homework and researching the options and features available near you can help to make these choices easier. 

Dog Boarding for Vacation or Time Away From Home 

Pet boarding facilities were once grim, dingy places where animals were often locked in their cages for long periods. However, times - and pet owners' expectations - have definitely changed! 

These days, boarding facilities are much more than a roof over your dog's head and a dry place for them to sleep - some such as our boarding facility seek to provide a truly, welcoming, warm and social atmosphere for your pooch. 

Of course, our climate-controlled kennels are kept clean and linens fresh-smelling, and we treat your pooch to all the love and attention they'll require. You may also choose medical boarding for dogs that need extra care and attention. We will continually monitor any changes in medical conditions, and watch for signs of stress, fear and anxiety. 

If you are deciding where to leave your dog while you're on vacation and looking for a boarding facility to take your dog to, look into a few different places in your area to find a facility that best suits the needs of your pet and your wallet.

Facility Features 

At any given dog boarding facility, price is generally a good indicator of the service level provided. You'll pay more for your pup to stay at a luxurious hotel-like space with comfortable spaces to stay in and TV to watch than a standard facility with roomy crates and fenced dog runs. 

If you'd like your dog to enjoy an active adventure during their time there, a fun camp experience may be ideal. Dog camps across the country offer time for your dog to explore the outdoors along with added facilities for playing and swimming with other dogs, in some cases. 

While you narrow down your list of preferred kennels keep in mind that extravagant facility features don't necessarily equate to improved care for your pet. 

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

Dog care while you're on vacation is typically priced based on the level of service you choose. A standard kennel will cost less per day than luxury accommodations. 

Standard care for dogs at most pet boarding facilities includes:

  • Breakfast served in the kennel 
  • A clean, roomy kennel for your pup to sleep in 
  • Exercise time outdoors before breakfast so your dog can stretch their legs 
  • Playtime outside the kennel 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: Bringing your dog to a boarding facility for the time you'll be on vacation will ensure your pet will have 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 this type of pet care while you're on vacation 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.

Standard & Medical Boarding for Your Dog or Cat at Bullard Animal Hospital

At Bullard Animal Hospital, we understand that you may be feeling stress of anxiety about leaving your dog while you're on vacation or away from home - especially if they are ill or recovering from a surgery or procedure. We'd like to help put your mind at ease by providing your dog with the care they need while you're away. Our climate-controlled kennel provide safe, comfortable sleeping areas.

We pride ourselves on giving your pet individual attention, with personal playtime with staff every day. We also take them on daily walks.

We offer plenty of holding and brushing time to older or less active pets. Our helpful team is always eager to accommodate any other diet or medical needs your pet may have, including administering medications. Each pet has individual space, and cats are kept in a separate boarding area. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you looking for a dog boarding facility to act as a safe, comfortable and welcoming home-away-from-home for your adorable canine friend? Contact our Austell vets to learn more about our services.