It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and everyone is thinking about holidays!

For dog owners, this throws up a whole load of questions about who cares for pooch in your absence. We all want the best for our furries and it gives you peace of mind to enjoy your well-deserved break if you know they’re safe and having a ball. 

So, where does doggie fit into your holiday plans? Of course, you can take them with you and this plan of action requires some thought and preparation in itself. Dog boarding is another great option that will leave you feeling assured that your pup is with professionals. Family and friends can also be a support in this scenario and if you’re lucky, you’ll have the choice to leave them with familiar faces. Finally, a pet sitter gives someone a chance for a getaway in exchange for caring for your pet!

Summer holiday options for your dog

Each option for dog care has its pros and cons. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect, to help you make that all important decision this summer.

Dog boarding

Dog boarding has many advantages and is a popular choice for lots of dog owners. If your pup enjoys socialising, regular exercise and feeding, this could be the best option for them. Remember that you’re handing your furry friend over to professionals who’ve dealt with different kinds of dogs before. They will also monitor their health and medication for you while you’re on holiday. Expect that they’ll likely ask that your dog has certain vaccinations like kennel cough, before accepting them at the kennels. Of course there are drawbacks too, the number one being expense. Being in an unfamiliar environment, and having a slightly higher risk of being exposed to illness are challenges too.


Pet-sitting generally means advertising your home on a pet-sitting website to attract someone to stay in your home with your dog whilst you’re gone. This definitely isn’t the right choice for everyone and it requires a bit of a leap of faith but it can work for a lot of dog owners. Firstly, it’s cheap — the most you’ll have to pay is the subscription to the site where you place your ad, saving you a lot on boarding fees. This choice also allows your dog to stay in their own home, reducing the amount of stress for them. The third big benefit is that your house is also taken care of when you’re away and has that ‘lived in’ look. The biggest issue with pet-sitting is trust. You’re inviting a stranger into your home and trusting them with your best friend’s care which can be extremely difficult. Will they look after them the way you’d expect? A good way to offset this is to sign up for a reputable pet-sitting site and go with someone who has favourable reviews. 

Friends or family

If doggo has a chance to go and stay with friends or family, jump at it. They are more likely to understand how much it means to you that your canine companion gets the best possible care. It’s also more likely they’ll know your pup, their quirks and signals, and can more easily respond to their needs. It’s also a fantastically free option! Your friends or family might be interested in a break away in your home, meaning it’s a win-win situation. The downside is that perhaps their health, medication, feeding and walks may not be monitored as you’d like but it’s a small price to pay. Be sure to contact local dog walkers in case they can’t always do the walking themselves. And make a quick call to the local vet to temporarily register your dog. 

Take them with you

It’s always a viable option to take doggie along for the holiday. Obviously, it depends where you’re going because long haul travel can be really expensive and stressful for pets so you might want to consider leaving them behind. But, if you’re staying in your own country, or heading a short plane ride away, why not think about taking them? Yes, there are guidelines when flying or travelling by ferry but generally it’s not too difficult if you get prepared in time. Bringing them along means you don’t need to worry about them in your absence. Having your pooch with you can also be loads of fun on holiday and helps you meet new people. Get ready in advance — it can take a while to get vaccinations and treatments organised for crossing borders. And make sure you do some crate training before the trip so as they’re not stressed out in the car or plane.

It’s important to get away on holiday, take a break from work and unwind, especially in summer. Being a dog owner shouldn’t stop you from making memories and if you get prepared in time, there’s nothing to worry about. Find the best option for your furry friend, head off for a recharge and you’ll have a wagging tail to welcome you home!


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About the author

Vaila Erin is a writer, lover of animals, and a bit of a nomad. For her, life is about stories — observing yourself and others so that you can laugh, cry and entertain each other with its absurdities. Connect with her at or via LinkedIn.