If it's not possible to bring your dog along on your vacation, you'll have to arrange for his care while you're away.
One alternative is to have a reliable friend, family member, or neighbor come to your home several times a day to feed, water, exercise, and spend time with your dog. You could also hire a professional pet-sitter to perform these duties.
Another solution is to board your dog at a reputable kennel. Prices and services for kennels vary, but whether you choose your vet's office or a lavish "bed-and-biscuit" resort with complementary grooming and aromatherapy, keep these considerations in mind.
- Trust your senses (as well as your common sense) when visiting a kennel as a possible "vacation" spot for your dog.
- Make sure that the whole kennel, outdoor and indoor runs included, is clean and orderly.
- Make sure there are no offensive odors. There should be adequate ventilation. A well-run kennel should not stink of doggy odors.
- Make sure the temperature is adequate, not too warm and not too cold.
- Ask to see the outdoor running area. It should be close to spotless and made of gravel or concrete.
- Ask how frequently the areas are cleaned.
- All responsible kennel owners and operators will ask you about your dog's vaccinations and will require proof of certain shots.
- All responsible kennel owners and operators will show you each area in which the dogs are kept.
- The outdoor runs -- and the whole kennel should be very secure. Many dogs will attempt to break out, so talk to the kennel owners about this if you're worried.
Some last tips...
Bring along your dog's bed or favorite toys. When you leave, be positive and upbeat. Tell your dog "Here we are, Fido--it's your summer vacation. Good boy/girl!!" Do not apologize to your dog, he will sense your discomfort and become upset himself. Keep the goodbyes short and sweet. You may return and find that your dog enjoyed his "vacation" just as much as you did!