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Library > Health and Well Being > Your Dog’s Home Away From Home

Your Dog’s Home Away From Home


Your home is your castle. More importantly, your home is your dog’s castle. He guards it against enemies like squirrels and birds and the mailcarrier. He protects your family by warning people driving their cars past your house. Home is his territory.

But every now and then, your family sets off on an adventure — family reunion, relaxing vacation, camping — and the unfortunate reality is that sometimes your pets aren’t welcome to join the adventure with you.

You know the feeling; the car is packed for your epic road trip when Spot noses up against you, head cocked to the side as if asking “Where you goin’ Mom?” And you realize you don’t know where HE is going…So what do you do with Spot while you’re away?

Family First

You might be fortunate enough to live near family or to have friends that are lovely enough to open their home to your pets while you’re away. Invest well in these relationships ahead of time. Offer to watch their pets and water their plants when they go away, and they will likely return the favor.

Be sure to take Spot for a visit to their home a few times before your trip to get him accustomed to his temporary home. If they have other pets, it’s also best to plan the introductions ahead of time, too, to make sure they get along. The more familiar his home-away-from-home is to him, the less stressed he will be.


If your dog is a little more independent and your trip will be short, consider hiring a neighbor or a trustworthy kid from the neighborhood to look in on Spot and let him out for his business a few times a day (this works for cats, too).

If you choose a tween or teen for this responsibility, just make sure his parents are on board to help him remember and keep to the schedule. There’s nothing worse than coming home to discover that your dogsitter missed a “business meeting” and finding that your dog handled it himself under your dining room table.

Doggie Spas & Daycares

Dog Spas and Doggie Daycare are designed to give your dog an exciting and stimulating environment. If your dog is social, he will enjoy playing with the other dogs, and will end each day too tired to stress out about being away from home. Check with the Doggie Daycares in your area to see which ones offer boarding services. Some even offer web-cams so you can check in on Spot over the Internet.


If your dog is anxious or has behavioral or medical issues and needs special care, consider a kennel option that provides structure and qualified caregivers. Vets often offer kennel services—if your vet does not board pets, she can probably recommend a kennel that can meet your dog’s special needs.

Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to write up a short note to Spot’s caretaker, listing out any medications he needs (and when!), sharing his normal schedule and his eating habits and preferences. Also be sure to pack a bag with his normal food, his favorite treats and toys, his leash, shoes, and any medications he needs.

Now, relax and enjoy your adventure with the confidence that your furry friend will be well cared for.


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