Animal Care, Business Trips, Boarding Your Pet

by Mary Haight on July 14, 2012

animal careAnimal care, and all that encompasses, really hits home when you have to go on a long business trip and leave your dog behind. I now know the terror that so many before me have gone through.This is a scary proposition.What company provides the kind of animal care that will give me the confidence to leave my dog with them for 18 days? Eighteen days is too long to burden friends, and I am fresh out of dog-loving family.

You might recall I recently went to Utah for the BlogPaws conference, and the preparation to leave was a little frantic. I had to gather all the pet supplies I thought were needed for the duration of Tashi’s stay, along with cooking his breakfasts and dinners for four days, including two “cookies” a day, a favored but least annoying squeaky toy, his bed, bowls, placemat, nylabone – you may be familiar with the drill. With all that, I forgot to pack his comb, hairbrush, oh, and the poop bags I got at the last minute from Oliver’s Pet Care. Sigh. All that preparation and not perfectly executed!

Even though Tashi’s pet care was assured (he was happy as a clam with his adopted grandmother and her cat) I was one of those annoying (neurotic?) dog moms who called every day to see how he was. I won’t be able to get that feedback during this trip.

I’ll be in the Amazon reporting on the Amazon CARES International Veterinary Jungle program, and that means I won’t always be “connected” either by phone or the internet. Who provides the kind of animal care that will give me peace of mind and make my dog happy to be there? I am certain he will be so confused – it really is so long to be away. Maybe I can get his uncle Steve or aunt Elizabeth to visit and say hello – or maybe that will make things worse for him when they leave…

As you can see, I need help! I have tried to take my own advice, running down credentials, checking social media channels for feedback…I know I’m going to have to buckle down and make a choice this next week. If you have any suggestions for me, beyond maybe taking some Valerian root to calm my nerves, or getting a human-sized Thundershirt to dispel my anxieties, I would appreciate your feedback.

If you know of any company in the Chicago area with an exemplary animal care record, I will be eternally grateful to hear about them! What kind of experiences have you had with longer term boarding – what did you do? If you have a story that might help, please share!

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20 comments
san diego dog wash
san diego dog wash

Oh the stress and anxiety of leaving your dogs. I can imagine you calling the dog hotel every few hours. Sometimes the best bed is to leave them in the care of a friend or relative. But were you able to find a nice doggie hotel in Chicago?

Tracey Gold
Tracey Gold

Mary. . .feel absolutely free to contact me regarding your boarding/pet care needs. Outstanding pet service referrals are what we are ALL about. I'd be more than happy to send you some amazing referrals! Tracey Gold, Chicago Canine Concierge www.chicagocanineconcierge.com tracey@chicagocanineconcierge.com

Carol Bryant
Carol Bryant

You are a paw-tastic reporter, Mary, and so glad you are going. I won't even comment on the leaving the dog anxiety, as I am one of those.....

Pamela
Pamela

Sorry I have no Chicago connections. I hope someone is able to suggest a good facility. I've had very good experiences having a pet sitter in my home, staying overnight. It isn't cheap. But over the years, I've never had a bad petsitter. Hopefully Tashi will do as well when you're in the jungle as he did when you were at BlogPaws.

Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

Wow - you're going to the Amazon! That's fantastic - and I'm sorry I can't be any help with the animal care questions. We've gone way our of our way to avoid exactly that type of anxiety. Good luck and have a great trip. I can't wait to hear about it!

Jessica @ YDWWYW
Jessica @ YDWWYW

That is a hard one. We have some doggy friends we swap in-home care with and I trust all of them (they are all Doxie owners). Maybe you want to check out the site at www.rover.com. I think you can find personal, in home care for your pet there.

Chris
Chris

Try dogvacay, they are a great organization. They 'vet' their people and you can also meet them in their homes and they also have a website. So visit dogvacay. It s designed for people like you and I. I have no idea where you are located but if there are dog sitters near you, you will find them there. I wish you the best.

Yvonne DiVita
Yvonne DiVita

Good for you, Mary. I fret like a new mom every time I have to leave my dogs (the cat, not so much... she is ok on her own a bit - as long as the pet sitters feed her and give her some TLC). The dogs have always done well - but, they act like we've been gone for months, instead of just days, when we return. I've decided we need to have them interact with the pet sitters on a more regular basis. At least weekly... whether that's for a short visit and walk (where we leave the house to do errands or whatever). My thought is that once they are so used to the pet sitters as their 2nd family, having us gone a week or two won't be so traumatic. Remember- dogs can't tell time. Two days may very well be equivalent to a week to them. Or not. I don't know if this is the answer, but it bears thinking over. I'm so jealous you get to go with Molly and I'll be so looking forward to hearing all about the trip!

kenzohw
kenzohw

I hope you will get some good advice Mary. Maybe I can learn of it too, being in - sort of - the same situation many times on our trips. I always end up taking the dogs with me, but that seems impossible in your situation, travelling to the Amazones. Feeling your pain and worry, and wishing I had the answer. Leo

@EdieJarolim
@EdieJarolim

Ok, deep breaths. I know exactly what you're going through because I've been there. Have you considered a house sitter/pet sitter? I find that leaving Frankie in his own home is one less stress for both of us. Yes, I'm not there, but all that he's familiar with is. It's not always been easy to find someone because of Frankie's diabetes, and it's not always inexpensive, but I found it a better alternative (for me and Frankie) than boarding.

Bailey
Bailey

I can understand your dilema. We had a long time doggy daycare provider that did overnights that our dogs loved who stopped doing both a while ago and thankfully we've been able to use family/friends for our short term needs. However, we have been researching a replacement and it is hard. We do have the Vet's Kennel as a backup, but it is just a kennel and the dogs always come home stressed after a visit there. It's nice to know there is a safe place, but I would like to find a place they enjoy like we had before. I wish you well in your search, too.

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