You’ve found a great friend or sitter to watch your dog and you’re ready to jet off to your next vacation spot. Before you head out the door, here are some things to consider to make your dog’s experience as smooth as possible.
Meet and Greet
Meet-and-greets allow you to have a face-to-face conversation to make sure everyone feels comfortable with what’s ahead or needed! Some good topics to bring up include their past experiences with dogs, what their schedule is like while watching your dog. Most importantly, you will get a sense of whether they can be a good match with your dog. Getting to know this person and having an open line of communication are key to making sure your dog is happy while you’re not there.
Talk About your dog
You and your dog are each other’s best friends, so it’s important to let the other person know about its routine and favorite activities! Of course go over meal times, walking routes, favorite games and the likes. However, also discuss how best to interact with your dog in the first few hours. It always takes a little bit of time for any dog to get used to a new person, and you know best how to make the introduction go smooth and stress-free!
Prep Your Home And Set The Mood
If the person will be coming to your house, it’s important to prepare your dog with seeing an unfamiliar face in your home. Before you can sip that margarita on the beach, make sure to introduce your dog to the new person before you leave. Also inform them of where all the key items are, such as treats and medication. Keep food and dog supplies in a location where they are easy to find. You don’t want someone to have to search high and low when you are not home!
Additionally, you want to make sure you take some precautions. Discuss your house rules such as any restricted areas for both the person and the dog. This way you can feel confident your home will be in the same condition you left it when you come back. Finally, don’t forget to leave your vet’s contact information in case of any emergencies.
Prep the Right To-Go Bag For A Doggy Sleepover
If you’re leaving your dog at the other person’s home, it’s important to have your dog’s essentials accompanying them. Make sure to write down feeding instructions and other important information such as when medication should be taken, instead of just verbal instructions. Having written down instructions means no one will forget details important to your dog’s wellbeing. To lessen any separation anxiety, pack your dog’s favorite blankets, treats and a piece of clothing that you have worn with your scent. Also have a few test runs by leaving those items with your dog so they are used to having those objects around when you are gone.
Discuss Both Indoor and Outdoor Fun!
Discuss your dog’s favorite and least favorite activities and environments. Do they love long strolls in the park or do they prefer high-intensity games? Err on the side of caution and make sure your friend or sitter is aware of any limitations or triggers outside. Likewise, discuss activities to keep your dog happy indoors. This may be a good time to brainstorm and maybe you will discover a new thing or two that your dog likes to do!
Finding a trustworthy person to watch your dog and preparing everyone for it will allow you to relax on your next vacation. It’s very likely that your dog will be having too much fun to miss you too much. Either way, keep an open communication flow to have peace of mind for all parties involved. Ultimately, we all want our dogs to live the best, happiest life even if we are not there!