[*Note – this guide is not about leaving your dog alone without anyone to care for them or keep them safe. It is about what considerations you might have to make if you are physically having to leave your home or the place where you and your dog live when you have to go away for work, a vacation or some other type of event]
Leaving a dog for 2 days, a week, or somewhere in between, is a bit of an awkward time to be away.
Apart from a boarding kennel or pet sitter, what are your other options for ensuring your dog gets the care they need while you’re away from home?
In this guide, we look at a few tips you might consider so your dog gets the care it needs and isn’t left by itself.
Let’s take a look!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Useful Tips For Leaving A Dog For 2 Days To A Week
First – Know How Long You’ll Be Gone For, & What Dates You’ll Be Going & Coming Back
Know how long you are going to be gone for, and know the dates you’ll be away.
This will help with your own planning, and any planning you need communicate to whoever is caring for your dog while you’re away.
For puppies being left alone …
Puppies might have slightly different guidelines to mature dogs.
For dog being left alone for a few hours or most of the day …
Generally, most dogs are going to be ok being left at home for a few hours or the day (while you are out at work).
Just make sure they have the essentials:
– Food, water, shelter, safety, and ideally things like toys that can keep them engaged and stimulated
– Make sure you have let them outside to go potty prior to leaving, and that you let them out again as soon as you get home. Alternatively, you can make sure they have somewhere to go potty while you are gone
For dogs being left for 2 days …
If you leave your dog for 2 days, your best bet might be to see if a friend or family member is available to take care of them.
A certified pet sitter is also an option for those that don’t have the option of leaving their dog with a friend or member of their family.
This is just a general list, but some things to prepare and organise would be:
Make sure your dog has access to food, and the correct portions of food. There’s several options you have for feeding your dog when you’re away from the home
Make sure there is enough clean water for your dog for the number of days you’ll be gone
You may leave a big meaty uncooked bone for your dog to chew on
Leave dog toys for your dog to play with
Leave your dog’s bed where they can access it
Make sure they have an undercover area that protects them from the weather – sun, rain or cold
If it’s going to be extreme weather, make sure your dog won’t be getting left outside – especially if its really hot (it’s like leaving a dog in a hot car). So, plan for them to be inside if this is the case
Make sure they have somewhere to go potty and walk around/exercise
Does your dog bark? This could be a problem for your neighbours and would be something for you to consider before you go.
Consider a pet camera – Pet cameras like the one from Furbo allow you to see and interact with your dog via your phone whilst you aren’t home. The Furbo pet camera also has a treat dispensing feature. Check out a review and comparison guide of the Furbo Pet Camera here.
If someone is coming to your house (like a sitter, friend or family member) to take care of your dog:
Make sure your yard and house is properly secured so your dog can’t get out/escape and hurt themselves or others
Make sure you have a sign up alerting people there is a dog in your yard – especially delivery people, or people coming to check your electricity meter etc.
For dogs being left for up to a week …
If you will be gone for a week – you may look at leaving them in the care of a sitter, professional pet boarding facility or pet resort (a week might be too long for some friends and family – especially if they have busy lives themselves)
It’s a good idea to read reviews about any sitter or boarding facility prior, and seeing if you can get a reference and check out the facility or meet a sitter prior to leaving.
You may also consider providing the sitter, facility or resort with the following:
Make a list of allergies your dog has and ask these things are kept clear of your dog
Detail when and how often your dog goes out to potty
Contact details of vet with some spare money, or pet insurance details
Leave your pet’s leash, harness and doggy poop bags
Leave instructions for any medication
Leave any cleaning supplies such as pet stain remover, doggy pads, deodorisers etc. – especially for puppies
Make sure your dog’s registration and tags are up to date
Make a note of things to watch out for around your dog – do they get really excited or really crazy about a particular thing like the postman, motorbikes, a certain type of food etc.
Make a note of any aggression triggers, or potentially harmful situations to watch out for – does your dog get territorial around other dogs, do they get possessive over food and need to be left alone?
Make it clear to your pet’s carer what date and time you are leaving, and when you are getting home
Consider your pet’s carer’s lifestyle and schedule – is it going to fit in with your dog and vice versa. If they aren’t home a lot, they live in an apartment or another non doggy friendly area – it might not be a good fit.
Consider if your dog has any conditions which might be unmanageable for you to be gone for a week, like separation anxiety for example. A vet is the best person to speak to about the risk of physical, mental or health based concerns for your dog.
Leaving a dog for up to a month …
Although this isn’t ideal, and you would not leave your dog for long periods under regular circumstances, there are situations where for family emergencies, for work, or in the situation of a crises or a similar event, you may have to leave for dog for up to a month.
It’s important to note that if you know in advance there’s a good chance you’ll be away for long periods like a month for work, you either reconsider getting a dog if you haven’t bought one yet, or you make sure you have family that definitely wants to share caretaking responsibilities if you are going to be gone say for example one or two months out of the year.
The person taking care of your dog should be trusted and competent/qualified …
You want to make sure the person or party taking care of your dog has the ability to do so safely. Ensure this at you own discretion.
With technology in modern times, you may even have the ability to Skype or Facetime your dog (via the pet sitter or carer) to check they are OK and doing well.
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