It's hard to find the right pet sitting option when you go on vacation. I'm lucky my best friend and her boyfriend love Charlie and always take him when we are gone. Last time I came home, Reid said, “We fed him steak.” I thought, “Wow, he's going to be spoiled.” Reid used to have two dogs that recently passed away. They were his kids. He spent nights with them on his lap as he watched TV and threw toys to them for fun. I'm am so lucky to have a great caretaker for Charlie when we are gone. Before I dropped Charlie off the first time, I was a little apprehensive because my friends have two cats and I wasn't sure how Charlie would react. However, they get along great.
Charlie is a King Charles Cavalier. His former owners bought two Tibetan Mastiffs and Charlie's territory was threatened. He knew he was no match for them, so he didn't fight, but he marked his territory. I was happy that he didn't mark his territory at Reid's place.
Kennels are options, but you need to know if it's a fit for your dog. Some love the social factor, the freedom to do just as they please, and, believe it or not, the permeating smell of all things K-9. These adventurous dog types acclimate to the daily routine shortly after their arrival. Most kennels offer play times with staff and other dogs, and many will accommodate special diets. Ask around for a good kennel and check it out. Is the staff welcoming? Do the runs look clean and the resident dogs well cared for? How big are the kennels. One of my dogs got kennel cough when they were there. Make sure they get shots.
Not all dogs view the kennel so fondly, however. Some dogs feel abandoned. They react by not eating or drinking during their stay. Generally speaking, protective/territorial breeds, and dogs that cringe from social experiences will stress in any place that separates him from the safety and predictability of home and family.
Think about your friends when they go on vacation. Do they need a pet sitter. If it's an option, you might want to think about volunteering to help them out.