There are times when we have to travel and our pups can’t come along for the trip.
You might be going on an extended vacation over seas or traveling for work. It’s important to have a caretaker for your dog who you trust completely, but even then, being away from our dogs can be so stressful.
When I travel, I still worry for my dogs, even though I know I’ve taken every precaution and that my dogs are good hands.
At some point you have to just trust the Universe and have a good time, and that’s easier to do when you know you’ve taken a few emergency precautions. Here are a few things you can do to ease your mind while you’re away from your dog.
1. Talk To Your Vet
When I go out of town I always tell my vet. I call the office and make sure they have an up-to-date credit card on file, and I let them know my dates of travel and that, if anyone other than me brings one of my dogs in, to please treat them to the best of their abilities.
You may also want to discuss with your vet what kind of life saving measures you’d like to be taken in the event something horrible happens.
Make sure all your dog’s prescriptions are refilled, and make sure your dog sitter knows who to call if they were to run out of medication or lose a bottle somehow.
I keep a big piece of paper on the wall with the name, number, and address of both my vet and a local 24 hour emergency clinic. That way, if for some reason I’m not getting a signal on my phone and can’t be reached, my dog sitter will at least know where to go and who to call.
2. Make An Emergency Kit
I live in California, so I make sure my dog sitter knows where my earthquake supplies are in the event of a natural disaster.
You may live in a high fire danger or flood area. If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, your dog sitter should know what to do and where your emergency supplies are.
If a huge earthquake were to hit, I have 50 gallons of water and a week’s worth of canned dog food to help get us through it, and my dog sitter knows where all of those supplies are stored.
Let your dog sitter know where they can find your travel carriers and crates, harnesses, leashes, and anything else they may need in the event of a disaster.
3. Have A Backup Dog Sitter On Call
When I go out of town for any extended period of time, I make sure my dog sitter has the names and phone numbers of at least two friends who are willing to pinch hit in the event of an emergency.
What if your dog sitter gets the flu or breaks an arm and needs someone to take her or him to the emergency room? What if one of your beloved dogs gets lost?
You’re going to want your dog sitter to have backup contacts they can reach out to if you are out of town or off the grid. Make sure your dog sitter has the names and phone numbers of these emergency contacts and that the contacts have the name and phone number of your dog sitter so they can reach out, as well.
4. Have A Backup Key Hidden Somewhere
Sometimes things happen, and your dog sitter could get locked out or lose their copy of your house key. That’s why it’s so important that you leave a spare key with one of your emergency contacts or a neighbor.
It’s a good idea to make sure that each of your emergency contacts has a key to your house in the event that your dog sitter can’t be reached and they need to check on your dogs for any reason.
Obviously you only want to give a copy of your house key to someone you trust completely, but if you are unreachable or far away, it’s important that your dog sitter have a backup key somewhere.
5. Leave Extra Food
If you’re going away for an extended period of time, always be sure to have more food than you need. You may think you are going to be away for a two weeks, but a storm or natural disaster could extend your trip by days or even a week.
If you are away from home always make sure that your dog sitter has a backup food supply. Your dog sitter should always have enough food to feed your dogs if, for some reason, you need to delay your return.
If you are a raw feeder, consider that a storm or natural disaster could cause a blackout. What happens if your home and freezer have no power for days or a week? You may want to have a backup plan with your dog sitter in the event something like this–heaven forbid–actually happens.
I don’t feed my dogs canned food, but I do keep a case in the cupboard in the event that there is some kind of natural disaster, emergency, or power outage.
6. Leave Your Dog Sitter Some Spending Cash
I always put an extra $100 in an envelope as emergency money for my dog sitter. You just never know.
What if a leash or collar malfunctions? What if a dog bowl breaks?
There are a million little things that could go wrong while you are away, and you’ll feel good knowing that you’ve covered all your bases. Even the small bases.
Do you have any advanced level, rock star dog parenting tricks or precautions for when you travel? I sure would like to hear them. I have a big trip planned, and anything I can do to make me feel more prepared will help me relax.
Let me know in the comments below!