Traveling is tough, and if you have dogs like us (especially four dogs) it can often times be a deal breaker. Our dogs are very much a part of the family, but its impossible to take them everywhere and we don’t want to double our expense before the trip even starts by boarding them. If you have this problem, here are some solutions we have thought of and had success with:
- Ask family, friends or neighbors to housesit. People are usually happy to help and enjoy the new scenery. If they housesit, they can still go about their day-to-day plans, but help out with your dogs. Depending on the length of the stay, $50-100 is generally acceptable. Added bonus? Buy something from your travels for your guest (ie. Starbucks coffee cup from the destination, good bottle of wine, piece of artwork from a local artist).
- Check with your local pet stores. PetSmart PetsHotel offers boarding with individualized “pet rooms” as well as doggie day camp, training and grooming. The pricing for dogs is usually $50 – $75/night/dog. They are currently offering a coupon for first time visitors: http://pets.petsmart.com/promotions/petshotel-offer/coupon.aspx.
- Boutique pet stores may also offer overnight lodging. If you choose this option for your dog(s), your dog(s) typically will enjoy playgroup with other dogs, bedding, bowls and toys. Often, boutique stores will offer multi-dog discounts, however, check with your local boutique store for details. Rates for these services generally range from $25-$40 per night, per dog. One of our favorite boutique pet stores in Portland is Lexi Dog.
- Dogsitters that come to your house and build customized plans for you and your dog(s) are also becoming popular. These services usually include walks, regular feedings at specific times, treats and grooming. Of course, some of these options are extra, but could be well worth it to come home to a dog that is on its regular schedule, relaxed and ready to go. One such dog sitter located in Colorado is Mary Louise Please and we’ve known people that have loved this service.
- If you like traveling with your dog, try one of the Kimpton hotels – my husband swears by them. They have consistently had great service in all the cities we’ve been to, are very nice hotels (like the W hotels, just not as pricey), and have a lot of fun amenities – like being pet friendly!
You can find local pet care providers at www.care.com. This website allows you to tailor your search based on some of the below criteria:
- Provider age
- Provider gender
- Hourly Rate
- Provider Type (Individual/Company)
- Years of Provider Experience
- What type of pet (dog, cat, bird, fish, horses, etc.)
- Type of Service (pet sitting, day care, boarding, grooming, etc.)
Other items that are important to note:
- If choosing any option, other than the at home option with family/friends, you generally must provide proof of vaccinations for each dog.
- You are typically required to provide your own food, placing each meal in a separate plastic baggie marked AM or PM to ensure that your dog receives the exact food and portion you desire. If you do not provide enough food for the dog(s) entire stay, you are usually charged for extra food provided.
- If your dog(s) is on medication, there may be an additional charge to have your provider administer the medication.
- Make sure to confirm all extra fees upfront with whichever option you might choose.