Ten top tips for YOUR dogs happy holiday!

Devon Dog Boarding has some tips to make sure your dog has a great time:

  1. Get to know the family who will be caring for your dog. When you meet them you should be able to see the area your dog will be sleeping (usually the kitchen or the lounge) and have a look at their garden. Make sure you feel comfortable with them, and that you can imagine your dog following his or her routine there. If you wish your dog to sleep in the bedroom with the family check whether this is acceptable for them.
  2. Provide your dog’s usual food and a guide to how much they have per day. Staying on the same diet provides consistency and avoids your dog having any tummy trouble when they are on holiday.
  3. Make sure the host family knows if your dog is allowed treats and how many per day they can have.
  4. Provide some of your dog’s bedding that smells of home. Don’t clean it just before they go on holiday, but make sure it has been slept in and used for a few days. For puppies who are going on holiday for the first time we recommend you send along a used item of your own clothing such as an old jumper, which will comfort them. Make sure you don’t send anything too valuable with your puppy in case it gets chewed!
  5. Book a short stay first with your host family, we recommend 2 days and 2 nights as a first stay. This is long enough for your dog to settle in to the new home, and short enough if there are any problems. Your dog will quickly learn that it’s OK to go away on holiday, and that you will always come back for them. A dog that can come and go and remain happy and calm is a well-balanced dog.
  6. Provide some toys for your dog to play with and chew in their new home. These can be used by the family to distract them if they are distressed when you leave, and they can also provide a good pastime for your dog.
  7. Make sure you have put down as much information about your dog as possible on your new client form. The host family should have a copy of this and will be able to care for your dog better with this information.
  8. Check the vet details on your form are correct, and that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
  9. If you are dropping your dog off, make your departure short and sweet. Any long tearful farewells will make your dog think something is wrong and will distress them. Try to stay relaxed and calm, and keep your voice a normal pitch.
  10. When you collect your dog or they are brought home to you, they will of course be excited to see you! Check they seem healthy and happy, and that they have not lost or put on much weight. They will probably be a little tired and ‘crash out’ when they get home, but this is normal and due to the extra stimulation of being away from home, especially for a first holiday. If they normally live alone, then it is very exciting living with other dogs! Welcome them home and settle them back into their usual routine without too much fuss.

Wishing you and your dogs very happy holidays!


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