As a pet owner you tend to guilt yourself out of holidays abroad due to the thought of leaving your best friend behind in kennels. It is understandable, however, we still owe it to ourselves to treat ourselves to some time abroad every now and again.
We recently took a trip to Gran Canaria for a week. Originally, when we had the idea to go away we were thinking about putting Hendrix in Kennels locally, or taking him to our parents back in Hull. We have never left Hendrix alone for any longer than a night since we got him, so I was understandably worried about how Hendrix would react without us. Lucky for us, my friend Sarah (who only lives around the corner) offered to look after him if we went away on a certain week as she was already off work to look after her parents house. We jumped at this chance and booked for that week. Hendrix knows Sarah from morning walks, and her husky, Nymeria, is his best friend and partner in crime. Everything was perfect apart from one minor detail, Sarah has 4 cats and 2 rabbits and needed to be at home to take care of them too. This meant that in an ideal world, Hendrix would go an stay with her rather then her dog sit at our house.
But what about the cats I hear you ask?!
From what I have seen of Hendrix around cats his main issue is over excitement. I genuinely believe that all he wants to do is play with them. Problem is, he goes in too heavy and scares them and is then left howling at them when they do not reciprocate his love. I took him around to Sarah’s house before we left to test how he would react to the cats. My first thoughts were correct, too boisterous resulting in scared cats. Sarah was confident that she could keep them separated during the day but would feel happier if Hendrix went home to sleep in case something were to happen in the night. I agreed this was for the best providing Hendrix was not going to be left home alone for too long!
Holiday day arrived and we packed up all his stuff and took it around to my friends. I dropped him off after his morning walk and I won’t lie I was expecting him to seem sad that we were leaving without him, I was wrong. He was so excited to be in a new place with his best friend to play with that I hardly think he noticed we had left.
Now the best part about leaving your dog with a friend is that you can get regular updates about how they are getting on. This for me was in the form of Instagram. Even by the time we got to the airport my mind was put at ease by a photo of a very happy, relaxed looking Hendrix making the place his own.
And by the looks of it he continued to make himself comfortable for the rest of the week…
…including on their brand new sofa and chairs! Cheeky pups!
It really put my mind at ease to know that he was happy, with people he knew and could continue his regular routine. The fact that he knows Sarah so well meant he could still go out on the park and be let off lead, something that would never of been able to happen if he went with our parents.
The best part about it all was that when I got home, he was so tired from all the fun he had been having all week, he barely had the energy to fuss us. I won’t lie at first this was a bit disheartening and seemed like he had hardly missed us at all, but in reality it meant that he had enjoyed himself too much to be sat around moping that we had gone. And that is all I wanted! And he nearly made friends with a cat and got to stay over a few nights, so good result all round!
So my advice for anyone thinking of going away and leaving your beloved pooch behind is as follows:
- If possible, try to leave them with someone they know and trust.
- If it is possible for that person to come and stay at your house, even better. This means that your pooch can stay at home and keep their usual routine.
- If they cannot stay at home, make sure they have a lot of their own things with them to remind them of home. The more blankets and toys, the better!
- If you do have to resort to Kennels, do your research and try to visit as much as possible. The more they know about your dog the better, and the more your dog is familiar with where he is going will make it easier for them to be left there.
- Ask for photo updates. Trust me, it will make you feel so much better about lying on a beach drinking a cocktail, if you know your pooch is happy too!
- Don’t beat yourself up about going away! I know it is hard, and you feel guilty, but your pooch will forgive you as soon as you get back, it might just cost you a few treats!
There are plenty of businesses these days that will offer to pet sit for you either at their house or yours. With apps like Dog Buddy it is easier than ever to find people in your local area.
So what are you waiting for?!
Go and book that holiday!
Emma & Hendrix