Most pet owners would love to bring their fur-baby with them on vacation, but sadly it’s just not always possible. If you find yourself wondering what to do with your pup as you prepare for your next getaway, don’t worry. We’ve compiled some tips on how to find the best place for your schnauzer while you’re gone and how to prepare them for your absence, no matter how long it may be.
Home or Boarding?
There are typically two options to consider when leaving your pet behind on vacation – you can either leave them at home and hire a pet sitter, or you can board them somewhere else. Both options have their pros and cons, so let’s take a look at what each entails.
Leaving your pet at home means you’ll need to hire someone to come and look after your pup while you are gone. For schnauzers, pet-sitting can be a good option. This is because they will feel comfortable in their own environment, and they’ll already be familiar with all the smells and sights around. For you, leaving your pet at home can be more affordable, and it requires much less notice then trying to plan a boarding stay.
On the negative side, having a stranger come into your home can be stressful for your schnauzer, since they tend to be less trusting of strangers then other breeds. If you choose to find a pet sitter, it’s best to find someone you and your dog already knows. This will help them to ease into the transition while you’re gone.
The other option is boarding your pet. Boarding your pet will be more expensive by a fair margin. You’ll also need to spend money making sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccinations, including kennel cough. Since schnauzers are generally very hardy and healthy dogs, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it can be costly to get that clean bill of health. As boarding centers fill up quickly, you also need to be prepared to call well in advance to get your schnauzer in.
However, boarding can be a safer option for your pet. Quality boarding centers are monitored 24/7 with attentive employees and security cameras. They’ll have a fenced-in area for play, and dogs are monitored while around other animals. This is good for schnauzers, as although they tend to be fine with other dogs, they do have a tendency to follow their nose and wander, which can get them into mischief.
No matter what option you choose, do your research first. Make sure you choose a reliable pet sitter with insurance coverage, and see if you can do a background check on them before hiring. For boarding centers, check reviews from other customers. Make sure you visit the center first and look for one that is friendly, clean, and well-maintained.
Preparing Your Pet
Whether you are leaving your pet at home or taking them to a kennel, it’s going to be difficult for your dog to be away from you! In order to help them be more at ease with the situation, plan on taking some extra time before you leave to introduce them to the idea in order to increase their comfort level.
One of the most important things you’ll need to do to reduce separation anxiety and fear is get your dog acclimated to their new surroundings and caretakers. If you are hiring a pet sitter, try to set a few “meet and greets” between them and your pet well before you have to leave. It’s best to have the pet sitter come to your home if they will be watching them there during your vacation. This will get your schnauzer used to having them arrive at your house and being accepted into the environment by you. Once you leave, they’ll be more accustomed to seeing the pet sitter, and there won’t be as many issues with the transition. Aggressive behavior, barking, and anxiety will be lessened if your dog knows what to expect.
The same applies if you are going to board your schnauzer. If you’ve scheduled your dog to stay at a kennel, see if you can bring your pet to check it out before their stay. Most boarding centers will allow you to visit during the day once or twice for free, so your schnauzer can get a feel for the place and the people. Another option is to take advantage of any classes or ‘daycare’ options at the kennel. Many places have these socialization or play times for dogs, and this is a great way to introduce your pup to the new place. If you are planning to use the same kennel for repeated vacations, visiting every so often will keep your dog ready for your next trip.
Leading Up To Your Vacation
In the weeks leading up to your vacation, make sure you spend some time away from your pet, especially if you are usually around all day. You don’t have to be gone for hours; even just taking a trip to the grocery store is enough. The point is to show your dog that you can leave the house, but you’ll still always come back. This is going to help your dog experience less separation anxiety when you go away for your vacation.
Before you leave, you’ll also want to stock up on your schnauzer’s supplies – make sure you have food, treats, toys, bedding, or whatever else you’ll need to provide when boarding your pup. If your dog will be staying at home, you’ll still want to make sure there’s plenty of food and treats available so your pet sitter won’t be scrambling to make do.
With these options available, no pet parent should ever feel guilty about going on vacation alone! Your schnauzer can be just fine when left with a capable caregiver, and might even enjoy the little vacation of their own. As long as you take the time to prepare things for your pup, both of you can enjoy a relaxing break with no hassle.