Who Takes Care Of Your Pet When You’re Away?

Eko and I go just about everywhere together but sometimes a guy needs a break.  Eko, that is – I can be a handful.  Every once in a while Eko needs a vacation.  I’m the one with the opposable thumbs and driver’s license, so to give Eko time off I will leave for a wedding or weekend without him.  Although he is quite talented, Eko lacks those thumbs I mentioned and can’t manage things on his own while I’m gone.


Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog adventure

Locking and unlocking the door is a tough gig when you have no thumbs

On a recent weekend I needed to find someone to look after Eko while I’m gone.  My sister moved back to NYC and Emily has an ever changing work schedule, so I had to look for another option.  There is no one-size-fits-all “best” plan when it comes to planning for your pet while you’re away, but for Eko’s weekend vacation my hope was that he could stay at home.  He would be comfortable in a familiar place, he could watch the world go by outside his favorite window and all he really needed was a couple square meals and some playtime in between.  That’s why it’s great to have a friend like Andrew who likes hanging out with man’s best friend.

dog blog, dog adventure

Andrew and me in college outside the main classroom building.  He’s the one holding the miniature horse.  It’s a long story.   The important part is that Andrew is great with all kinds of pets

Before leaving I had Andrew stop by while I was home so that Eko could introduce himself properly.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog adventure

Andrew was immediately subjected to a rigorous sniff test

pet blog, pet adventure, pet photo

He passed with flying colors

Eko and Andrew were fast friends, but I still had one concern.  Eko is fine walking on leash with me but I noticed that he can be a butthead when other people walk him.  He thinks since I’m not around that he’s in charge, so it was important to let Andrew know not to take any nonsense from Eko when out for a walk.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog blog

Andrew also got a the “hold on tight when Eko sees a squirrel” lesson

Eko had a great weekend with Andrew and I am lucky to have a friend who I knew would take good care of my pup.  However, Andrew won’t always be around so I am in the market for some other options.  There are a number of boarding places in Chicago, but I’m not sure the best way to pick between them.  I recently learned about dogvacay.com which also looks like an appealing option.  Clearly I have my homework cut out for me.

Anyone have any advice, suggestions or recommendations about the best ways to care for your pet when you’re away?

40 thoughts on “Who Takes Care Of Your Pet When You’re Away?”

  1. Nanny and grampy usually look after me when mummy and daddy have to go away. I get to stay at home AND get loads of treats and cuddles too:-)

  2. Wish it hadn’t taken me so long to come by for a visit i love the way you write. How a person takes care of their pet says a lot about them. I’m looking forward to reading more. Thanks for the smiles.

  3. Hi Will, Looks like they will get along great! This is why I started my boarding business! One dog at a time, full of tons of one on one time in a pet friendly house. If you ever need a sitter on the East Coast in Canada, let me know 🙂

  4. When we had Buddy we took him to ‘Camp Brinks’ Brinks was a giant of a dog who lived in a two story log home and a full fences 5 acres of land. The dogs (campers) had the whole main floor with a tv and giant old sofa. We actually took his pillow there. He loved it because there was a dog door and he could go in and out at will. They have a full time staffer who feeds and plays and cuddles up the campers. It was $30/day but really thats just a little more than $1.00/hour

  5. Lol. They look adorable and I am glad your friend was nice enough to care for Eko. A couple of things you should ask any prospective pet sitter: 1)Are you insured? With whom? 2)Are you Pet First Aid and CPR Certified? 3)How many dogs at one time do you take? 4)Do you take dog/food aggressive dogs? 5)How long have you been pet sitting? 6)Were will my dog be sleeping at night? 7)Have you taken any obedience class with your dog(s)? 8)Do you have a 9 to 5 job? 9)How many times will you be walking him? 10)Do you need to do a meet and greet prior to boarding my dog? These are just some of the questions you should be asking a pet sitter. Make sure to contact a few pet sitters and ask a lot of questions. If they do not want to answer your questions, get out, and get out fast. When I do a meet and greet I send an email to the pet parent and remind her to make sure to have questions for me. I hope this helps:)

    • Thanks for taking the time to share all those questions, it’s an important list to run through with anywhere I might board Eko. The homework also serves a double purpose – I will know Eko is well taken care of AND I will have some peace of mind.


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