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April 18, 2013

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
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?

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

  1. I have no idea, but I would like to hear about too :o) It’s good to have such a friend like Andrew, they look funny together :o)

  2. Well, we don’t go away much and when we do I prefer that my cat and dog are home TOGETHER. They are super close and separating them (by boarding) would be awful. I have a friend who slept here (I paid her) and she took care of both of them.
    Often it is just me going away and when that happens my husband stays with them.

  3. Judy says:

    I also have this problem, and with 2 dogs it is hard to ask a friend. I am also uneasy about having strangers come into my home when I am not there. I have toured several boarding places and found one that for me is ideal (no cages, lots of individual attendion, but it can get expensive. I would rather pay the money and know they are being cared for, though then be nervious while I am away with another option. I just count it as part of the xcost of having such wonderful companions. Tour failities yourself and ask for recommendations. See also if they belong to any national kennel associations that have quality standards.

  4. Victoria says:

    well i’d say you have a great friend and he looks like he enjoys Eko too -dog vacay looks really nice, i checked into that too – now why don’t the two of you explain the pony – that sounds like a really good story!

  5. PigLove says:

    He’s such a cute pup. We have that problem here as well. You see, I’m a pig. A miniature pot bellied pig. I’m rather on the small size – about 45 pounds – compared to grown full size pigs. Did you know that you can’t ‘board’ pigs. I don’t understand that, not at all. And like you, it is really hard to find a sitter for a slightly spoiled, quick learner, needy pig. Nana has done it in the past but she’s not always available to my demanding schedule. What’s a pig to do? XOXO – Bacon

  6. Good luck! How much do you think I would have to pay someone to come to my house and take care of 7 dogs, a mini pig, a horse, 2 goats, and a barn cat?

    I don’t think I’ll be taking a vacation… ever lol

  7. Sherrell fick says:

    The best way is word of mouth. We have the best pet sitter we drop the girls off at. She even removed some baby quills from a porcupine from Lacey’s muzzle on her last stay. Good luck with the search.

  8. emma says:

    We have been lucky enough to stay with mom’s cousin when mom takes off on us which isn’t often but we wish we didn’t have to bother her. In Germany we watched friends dogs and they watched us but no one in this country wants to take us on even though we watch dogs for others all the time. If you lived in the Twin Cities we would be set because we would love to hang out with Eko. Otherwise mom has contemplated a dog walking service but we don’t trust just anyone and boarding is so expensive for 2 of us but it would be an option – only at the top places that we know of, of course. It is a difficult problem!

  9. It can be hard to find someone to watch the pups when away. We go away often so we ask friends or family (we ask them to watch the cats too.) We would never want to board that would be a total last resort.

  10. That’s so cool you had a friend who could come stay with Eko while you were gone. Before I got married I did a few housesitting/petsitting gigs and thought it was pretty fun.

    We usually board Boomer and Dottie, we’ve got a good kennel where they can be together in a run with two beds that’s indoor/outdoor, climate controlled and has a video camera so I can check in and see what they are up to. Ideally we’d like them to stay at home because Dottie doesn’t do very well in boarding even with Boomer with her but we can’t find someone to stay.

  11. Clowie says:

    I’m glad it went well. It’s difficult to find someone you can really trust to look after animals, especially a very large dog.

  12. Holly says:

    My nana she is good a looking after cats but also feeds our fish

  13. VizslaLover says:

    We found a day care place first where our Vizsla puppy could go just to run and play with other dogs once in a while. He loves going there and is used to it from the play days. They also do boarding and during the day the boarded pups get to play too. It is the best solution we have found when we can’t find a friend or family to take him.

  14. It is hard to leave them. We bought a motor home so we can take them with us most anywhere, its like a huge dog kennel, a very expensive kennel lol
    I do have a dog sitter that will stay here while we are gone.

  15. Oh, I sympathise with the ‘hold on tight whilst dog sees squirrel’ lesson. You’re very lucky to have a friend you can trust with Eko. I can’t tell you how much money we’ve spent in boarding Charlie and Hannah. They go to their ‘resort’, and as a result we have no money to go overseas for holidays 🙂

  16. Marcela says:

    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:)

  17. 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

  18. dailyspro says:

    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 🙂

  19. 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.

  20. Misaki says:

    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:-)

  21. We are very lucky to have the in-laws stay when we go away :-).

  22. […] Will and Eko have a plan, visit Marking Our Territory […]

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