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Tips for leaving your dog behind when you go on vacation.

We’ve all been there, counting down the sleeps until our holiday, jumping up and down with excitement and then suddenly catching the eye of your very sad looking fur child. He is obviously not so excited and managed to make you feel 100 times worse about leaving him behind with just one look.

Leaving your dog in someone else’s care for the very first time can be extremely stressful for both you and your dog. However, with some early preparation, you can help prepare your dog emotionally, before you travel without them.

Where will your dog stay?

Hiring a pet sitter

If you do not want to board your dog at a boarding place and want to keep your dog home, then this is a good option. Make sure you do your research and ensure you find a reliable pet sitter suited for your dog’s needs. If you decide to use a pet sitter, then make sure your dog meets her/him a few times before you go away. Maybe, you can ask the pet sitter to take your dog for a walk or the dog park. By taking this extra step, you can make sure both your dog and the pet sitter are comfortable with each other.

Dog Boarding centre

Do your research and read every review you can find online. Before boarding my dog at my selected boarding centre, I decided to ease him into it. The first day he only went for the day-care, the next week he stayed overnight. After I decided I was happy with my choice, I left him for two nights etc. And when it was time for me to really go away, he didn’t have a big problem spending a few nights away from me and he was very excited to meet all his doggie friends and his caretaker.

So, you found the best care of your dog. What’s next?

Check your dog’s ID tags/ Microchips

Make sure all the details in your dog’s ID tags and Microchips are current.

Keep your pet sitter/ caretaker informed

If your dog has any health issues, separation anxiety etc please inform the caretaker, so there will be no surprises.

If you are using a boarding facility

Pack a bag for your pooch – Pack his favourite toy, his blankie, medication, record of vaccinations, food and leashes etc

Leave detailed instructions

It’s best to write out a list of detailed instructions on how to care for your dog.

My list included the following

  • Food- When & how much (it’s best to take your own food for the duration of the stay)
  • Exercise – how often
  • emergency contact
  • Allergies/medicine – if any
  • Vet’s details/ Pet insurance details etc


if you are going away for more than just a couple of days make sure you get your dog groomed.  If you are leaving your dog with a pet sitter, then you can pre-book your mobile dog groomer to come and pamper your dog while you are away. To find your local Blue Wheelers dog groomer click here>

Photos and updates

Most pet sitter and pet boarding places will send you regular updates and photos. Some places will charge you per photo. If you want regular updates and photos make sure you talk to your pet sitter/caretaker and make those arrangements before you leave.

Leaving your fur baby even for a day is quite hard for some parents.  I, for one decided to leave a few days earlier from my holidays because I missed my dog so much. However, hopefully, this guide will help you reduce the holiday stress and you will be able to sit back and sip your much-needed Martini.

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