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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I adopted a doxie mix puppy 8 wks ago. He's now 16 weeks old. We thought we had everything figured out in terms of dog sitting. We don't generally go on vacation, and if we go out of town it's usually to visit family where we could bring the dog. When we do go on vacation it's summer, and my friends stay at the house with the cats, and said they would be happy to watch the dog too (they really want a dog but can't have one now). My one friend teaches college so she's either off or minimally employed over the summer. Sometimes my husband or I go away for the weekend without the other, so the other person is then home with the dog. We sorted all this out before we adopted the dog. I guess this is where "best laid plans" comes in...

My brother's wife had a baby last week, and they live a few hours away. I was planning on going down to visit this month, and my husband was going to stay home with the pets because he doesn't have the time off work right now. Yesterday his employer told him that they want to send him to train another office on some software as soon as possible. The office just so happens to be a half an hour from where my brother lives. The company would then pay for our mileage, I'd have company on the drive, all good things. But what about the dog?!

If I can piece together dog sitting (only one day needs to be covered - my friends can do the other three), is it too soon to leave him with people that aren't us?! I'm worried about him being out of his routine, and missing us, and I don't know, that something awful would happen. My friends are over just about every weekend so he is very familiar with them.

We might be able to convince our in-laws to let him stay at their house for a few days, but I don't know how much trouble he'll get into over there, and how much they'll stick to his rules. They are both retired though, and are home all the time.

Would it be better for him (if my brother and his would allow it) to bring him? That is a really serious change in routine, and he's not thrilled with the car, and it's a 4 hr or so car ride. He wouldn't have a fenced in yard to run around in for a few days, and there's a new baby in the house.

If none of this works out then I'll just have to stay home with him and go another time, which I will if I have to. I adopted the dog and his needs come first... but do one of these options sound better than the other? Or would both be unfair to him at this point?
 

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I think since he is familiar with your friends (and I assume likes them), that if your friends are willing to help and to keep up his routine and potty training, that having your friends stay with him is a good option. He will still be in his familiar home, he won't have to deal with a stressful car ride, he'll know the people with him, and he won't be underfoot when people are dealing with the new baby. He might miss you but he'll also probably quickly start having fun with someone else too.

I stressed before leaving Chester with my father for a 10 day trip last year. Yes, Chester was an adult dog so that part was easier, but I hadn't been away from him even for a night since I'd gotten him and it was the first time my father took care of a dog on his own at all. It worked out just fine and Chester had a great time at his "summer camp" and my dad spoiled him a bit.

One of the things that made me more comfortable was that I wrote out a VERY detailed (3 pages!) list of Chester's routines like feeding schedule and amount, "rules", walking times and tips, location of his vet, contact numbers for his vet and the area e-vets, a list of safe dog foods for treats and a list of dangerous dog foods to avoid, descriptions of his habits and mannerisms so dad would understand what Chester needed better (like, when he needs to potty, he faces you and does a play bow and then walks closer and stares at you). Cell phones were on all the time and you can also call your vet ahead of time and pre-authorize them to treat if needed and put a credit card on file (as in, they can begin treatment while trying to contact you in an emergency).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ohhhh he loves his "aunties." One of them was with me when I picked him out because my husband had to work (this is how invested in the dog they are! haha), and they've got keys to the house and call me sometimes and be like "I'm near your house and I have free time, can I go play with Hamilton?" and just take him out at random times of day. So he's very used to them coming and going, and coming in the house when no one is there. His tail goes wild when he sees them.

We MIGHT have more time to figure this out now. My husband's bosses who at first were so gung ho about this trip they wanted him there Monday, are now hemming and hawing about it, and will both be on vacation all next week so if they don't figure it out by tomorrow, it will probably be later in the month. Hamilton is meeting my in-laws for the first time tomorrow (they're "snow birds" and just got back from wintering in the south), so hopefully we'll have some time to get him used to them for backup sitters!
 
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