While there are good options for housing your furry friend while you’re away on holiday, don’t discount the possibility of taking her with you on your adventure.
You can now find pet-friendly hotels and motels online with rooms that connect to a secure outdoor area for dogs. They range from budget level to amazingly ritzy. (Some hotels also offer dog-walking and dog-grooming services!) Check that your choice is within an easy stroll of a dog-friendly park.
There are also camping grounds and caravan parks by the beach and in the bush that highlight their pet-friendly credentials. For instance, many of the BIG4 Holiday Parks (big4.com.au) promote themselves as pet-friendly.
Did you know your dog can become a Virgin Australia Velocity (frequent flyer) program member and earn 300 points or more each time you fly? Virgin pet bookings are made on 136 789. Also, on some routes, Qantas will include pets under 20kg as part of your free checked baggage allowance. Otherwise, rates depend on the weight of your pet and its crate. Book at qantas.com.au/qfreight/
If you’re more comfortable heading off without your dog, you could organise home boarding with friends or family, but be sure everyone understands what they’re getting into. Discuss your dog’s personality, special needs and health considerations, and the host’s ability to cope – especially if your dog needs a lot of exercise.
With an especially energetic dog, your host should have a clear understanding of your dog’s boisterous personality – and ideally have had some dog behaviour training. (DogTech can help with that!) Be sure your dog’s host lives within striking distance of a dog-friendly park for that daily exercise.
A well-run boarding kennel can actually be great social fun for your dog, with heaps of hurtling around with other hounds of all shapes and sizes. Again, they’re easy to find with a web search, but it’s worth asking for recommendations from your vet or other dog owners to avoid a poor experience.
Don’t be afraid to have your hosts provide references and even dog behavioural and medical certificates. Check out their references and do an internet search for customer feedback.
Anxious Dogs: If your dog experiences separation anxiety, DogTech can help you address this issue before you leave. You might consider a private boarding lodge with a full-time carer who can give your dog the required special attention while you’re away.
Puppies: For puppies, we’d recommend that you choose a service that offers full supervision and a puppy-proof environment. If you know a retiree or a full-time homemaker they could be a perfect host for your pup’s guest stay.
Elderly Dogs: Most senior dogs have special needs and often require oral or injected medications. Make sure your host is well-equipped to deal with your dog’s medical needs and can perform CPR. We also recommend that you find a place with a designated sleeping and play area appropriate to your dog’s agility and comfort.