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Are the kids out of school for a whole week?  What will you and your family do?  What special place are you going to travel to this year?  And most importantly, will you take your dog or leave him behind?

If you take your dog with you visit DogFriendly.com for hotels, tourist sites, and other pet friendly places you can take your dog.  If you drive by car, make sure your dog wears his dog seat belt.  If you fly, be sure to talk with your vet and review the airline regulations thoroughly.

If you leave your dog behind, can you leave him with a friend, hire a pet sitter, or leave him at a boarding kennel?  If hiring a pet sitter or leaving him at a boarding kennel make your reservation as soon as possible.  Otherwise, the pet sitters might already be booked or the boarding kennels full.

For a boarding kennel, you will also want to have your dog visit the vet first.  Bordetella shots and other vaccinations may be required by the boarding kennel.  Having your dog visit the boarding kennel beforehand is a good idea too.  If the boarding kennel has a doggie day care play area, let him stay for an afternoon to see how he likes it.  Some boarding kennels may even require this.

If hiring a pet sitter, be sure to review them first.  Check them out online to see if anyone has left any reviews.  Meet the pet sitter in person and let your dog meet them too.  Perhaps hire the pet sitter for an afternoon while you are at work.  If possible, have a trusted friend or neighbor check up on the dog too in order to make sure the pet sitter has been fulfilling their obligations to your dog while you are on vacation.

Wherever you do with your dog while you travel for spring break, make sure your dog’s identification goes with him.  Microchip him so that if he gets away and his collar comes off, he can still be identified.  Make sure all your contact numbers are current so that you can be contacted in the case of emergency.  Leave alternate numbers of friends or neighbors.  Make sure his veterinary office phone number is current as well.

Don’t feel bad if you have to leave your dog in someone else’s care while you are gone.  Travel can be stressful for your dog – especially if you have to fly.  There are a lot of good pet services out there.  When I lived in Overland Park, Kansas, Sephi loved Grand-Paws Pet Sitting Services.  Maya loved Woof’s Play & Stay and Camp Bow Wow (Sephi doesn’t like boarding kennels).  Services like this could be a little vacation for your dog too.

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