My dogs LOVE heading to DogBoy's while I go on vacation, and I love it too. As much as I love my 2 bubbly, bouncing Brittany’s, it’s nice to know whether I’m lying on the beach or visiting family they are having the time of their lives swimming, running and making new friends. However it’s nice to take a trip that includes them every once in a while.
DogBoy's Dog Blog
Each year, DogBoy & I go on a long vacation. We live on the property with DogBoy's boarding kennel on one side, and the Training & Wellness center on the other, a view of the agility field out our kitchen window, and a view of one of the playgroups our our bathroom window. Employees are all around walking back and forth, and customers are (thankfully) coming in and out daily. Sometimes, being in the middle of it all leaves us feeling a little like we're living in a bubble. Because we live, eat, work and raise our family all in the same place, when we need a vacation we have to really get away (far away or for a long time, or both) to accomplish that.
So far, we have not yet taken our dogs along for the ride. There is no room in the car for the big dogs (sorry guys), and taking little Noodle would make eating out difficult. Some of the national parks we went to this trip weren't very dog friendly either. Not to mention our dogs get excellent care at DogBoy's while we're gone!
I'm sure Noodle, Rebel and Tessa are getting lots of exercise, belly rubs, and plenty of opportunities for playtime with other dogs. Getting to romp around on 15 acres is like dog heaven. Anytime they're out of the house, their tails are wagging, and their tongues are hanging out from sheer bliss. They want all the other dogs to know the truth: they run this place. But at night, when they're sleeping soundly in their air-conditioned runs, I think about them and wish they were curled up in my lap or at my feet.
I think next year, I might see if I can talk DogBoy into letting me bring Noodle along. After 15 years in the pet care industry, I'm almost embarrassed to say that I've never taken my pups on vacation with me. I'm curious to know if you've traveled with your dog, and what your experiences have been?
Thanks to businessbroad.com for the image.
So…what can you do to make your dog’s holiday season as happy and stress-free as possible? As with any time where your dog’s routine is being disrupted, spending lots of downtime with your dog, away from activities, will help, as will routine exercise and activity. Paula Baker-Prince, our Director of Training, also suggests providing fresh mental challenges for your dog, such as a new puzzle toy, to help your dog relax.
One thing to avoid at all times of the year, but especially during the holidays, is treating your dog to overly rich or toxic foods. Dog First Aid 101 has a complete list of toxic foods for dogs, but there are a few that are especially common this time of year. Dark chocolate is a biggie that most people know about. Less well-known are foods and spices like nutmeg, raisins, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts. The last thing either you or your dog want or need is a trip to the emergency vet after snacking on a holiday beef log!
And don't forget about fireworks. Growing up in northern Indiana, I never associated New Year’s Eve with fireworks—sitting outside and watching them is a lot less fun when it’s below freezing—but here in Austin we’re blessed with warmer weather and some great displays. Unfortunately, many dogs are very afraid of fireworks. For mild anxiety, an herbal relaxant such as Rescue Remedy or Dog ‘n’ Kitty Calm (available for sale at DogBoy’s) might help. If you feel your dog might need something stronger, talk to your vet about a prescription sedative.
What if you are taking a long car trip with your dog? If you’ve ever had a dog in the car, odds are good that you already know they can get car sick just like people. And just like people, one remedy can be limiting visual cues that may contribute to motion sickness—chiefly by having them face forward. Opening the windows a little can help too, as can the Through A Dog’s Ear series of CD's—they’re also available at DogBoy’s and there’s even a special car edition. For stronger remedies it’s best to consult your vet. And if you’ll be spending any time in a hotel, sites such as DogFriendly.com and Yelp.com are excellent resources for planning where to stay.
And finally, DogBoy’s is here to help. Other than over Christmas, we have plenty of room to board your dog overnight during holiday parties or in daycare to help them blow off some steam. And for some serious stress relief, you can always schedule a massage session here at Chelsea’s Place with certified pet masseuse Christina Hardinger. Your dog will thank you!
And whatever you do—and however you celebrate—we wish all our two- and four-legged family and friends a most joyous holiday season!