How to Plan a Getaway as a Dog Parent
The 5-step vacation guide every dog parents needs to read just in time for the summer!
1. Plan ahead of time.
ICYMI, people are ITCHING to get away. Your ideal dates/locations/pet sitters are probably booking up faster than you can blink. Plan early and save yourself the heartache of compromising! Keep in mind that pet sitters (especially the good ones) are getting swamped with requests. Don't assume they will be available on the days you want. Contact them as soon as you have secured your vacation dates.
2. Create a pet care plan.
If you have a designated pet sitter, ask for their availability (book/reserve your dates if possible).
If you haven’t selected one yet, start to research pet sitters that meet your criteria. If you need help on the types of questions to ask , head over to "TOP 10 Questions You Need to Ask a Pet Sitter & Why" and get started!
TIP: Meet & Greets are highly recommended. Get this out of the way early in the event it's not a good fit and you need to keep on searching. You need to see how they interact with your fur baby and find the "just right" option.
3. Plan out your dog’s preferred routine while you are away.
Things do not always go according to plan but having something written up that lays out the regular routine can be a day saver for your pet sitter!
Things to consider are:
Medication, dosage, and instructions
Scheduled Vet visits
Camera/video surveillance scheduling in or around your home
Check-in schedule and the medium used (video conference, text, phone call)
Keep this somewhere where your pet sitter has easy access too in case something slips their mind. Its your fur baby, lets make it easier on everyone.
If your fur baby has a scheduled appointment that they can’t miss while you are away, make sure you speak to your pet sitter about these dates/times and speak to the office (vet, groomer, daycare center, etc.). To avoid confusion, you need to make sure you give these offices authorization for your pet sitter to act on your behalf in your absence.
4. Prepare an "in-case of emergency" kit.
None of us ever want to think about emergencies, but as pet parents, WE HAVE TO.
Designate an "emergency kit" that has all of our pets emergency supplies (extra food, medication, first aid kit, contact information, etc.)
Designate an emergency contact in the event your pet sitter can’t reach you during an emergency.
Leave contact information for your primary veterinarian and local emergency vets nearby.
Leave a list of medications used, any known allergies, and unique behavioral issues they might encounter.
And last but definitely not least! Make it clear the best way to contact you during an emergency (phone call, email, text, etc.).
TIP: This can you save you precious minutes that are critical during an emergency,
5. Maintain an open line of communication with your pet sitter.
This might seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. NEVER make assumptions on what your pet sitter knows about your routine or your fur baby. Work with your pet sitter and keep them updated on any changes they should be aware of. While you are planning your getaway you also need to make sure your fur baby has all their needs covered. Carve out time for that part of your vacation planning. Trust us, you will never regret being overly detailed about your fur baby and their needs.
These past 2 years have been a whirlwind of fear, shock, and confusion. I think its safe to say that we all deserve a break! I realize it might be guilt-inducing admitting to yourself that you need a getaway and can’t take (or don't want to take) your fur baby with you. It’s ok. You can only be the best dog parent when you also learn to take care of yourself too. Take time off when you need it.
If you aren’t sure if you are ready to part ways with your fur baby just yet, check out “The Most Important Checklist for Dog Parents with Anxious Dogs” and see if you and your fur baby are ready for this next step.
Your dream getaway is waiting!