What to Do When You Need to Leave Your Dog on Vacation

This article is a part of our On The Road series, sponsored by Kurgo and Tall Tails. I adopted my dog, Nora, in 2016 from One Tail at a Time in Chicago. She was a rescue from Alabama, a state with a high euthanasia rate. As we come up on our five-year anniversary this summer, we’re celebrating with the ultimutt road trip. Follow along with our yappy trails as I take Nora to see the ocean. P.S. Save 20% at Kurgo with code NORA20.

A vacation with your dog may be the dream (she’s your bestie, after all!), but even the best of friends need a little space. Not all destinations are dog-friendly, or maybe pupper isn’t ready for his public debut yet. Read on about what to do when you need to leave your dog on vacation.

Entertainment and Enrichment

Just because you’re out having fun or getting dinner doesn’t mean that Fido can’t enjoy some, too! If your dog has to be in your rental digs alone, absolve yourself of the guilt by bringing the party to him! We’ve talked about enrichment in the car before, so there’s plenty of things you can do with what you may have on hand or in your accommodations. Enrichment toys, slow feeders, or tasty KONGs will keep him so busy he won’t even realize you’re gone.

Bring The Crate

New Dog 101 always includes crate training and for good reason—it’s a great skill for puppers to have! There are plenty of crates on the market that are great for traveling, like collapsible or soft sided crates that are easy to pack for a road trip. If your dog isn’t used to being crated, conditioning prior to your vacation is a great idea so the crate will be seen more of a place of zen and relaxation instead of puppy jail. 

Designate Space

Dog laying on a bed
Tall Tails

If your dog is non-destructive but you don’t want her free roaming in a totally new space, designate some space for her and close it off. Depending on your accommodations, some potential spots might be a bathroom, an extra bedroom, or a basement. Fill the space with things that bring her comfort to help her transition into the space, like her dog bed or a Tall Tails comfort blanket

Watch Your Dog

So your dog is secured, but you’re still feeling a bit like an Anxious Akita about him being alone while you’re out and about? Watch your dog like the obsessed pawrent you are. While your dog may have heard too much about Big Brother, he’s cool with it—after all he loves his littermates. If you have a device with a camera like an old spare cell phone or iPad, you can turn it into a camera with an app like Barkio so you can keep tabs while you’re out and about.

Send Your Pup to Daycare

Planned an all day hike and have a pup who is *not* ok with breaking a nail? Want to see the wonders of a National Park that is not dog friendly? If your bestie is a social pupperfly, look into a local dog daycare for your all-day adventures. This is something you probably want to plan ahead for; call ahead to see if they have availability for new clients and make sure you have your dog’s vaccine records and other necessary paperwork to get her in.

Find a Dog Walker

If you’ve got a big day ahead of you and a dog who’s dream day does not include other dogs, see if you can find a trusted, local dog walker to give him a potty break. There are apps like Rover and Wag for local walkers on demand, but also a quick Google search can help locate plenty of small businesses in your area. Don’t forget to read the reviews and get references to make sure you’re leaving your buddy with someone you can trust! 

What do you do with pupper when you go on vacation with your dog? Woof at us in the comments and tag us with #SidewalkDog on Instagram with your dog’s vacation pics! 

Featured photo: Cecilia Medina

Tall Tails got their start in infant bedding, so you can rest assured that every product is crafted from durable, non-toxic materials and designed for easy cleaning. This means they’ll keep looking smart and stylish wherever your pet’s “dreamy place” might be. And you’ll feel good knowing your precious pet is happily napping in the most baby-safe bed, blanket, or throw you can find.

Safe and enjoyable travels for you and your pet are Kurgo’s passion. As the founders put it, “We never create a product unless we think it solves a real need, is original or a major improvement on what’s on the market, and can stand the test of time.” Their products come with a lifetime guarantee, which means you’ll never have to leave your BFF behind.

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram.

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