By Thursday, June 14, 2018 13 No tags Permalink

What in the Doodle do I do when my summer vacay doesn’t include pets…


I am seriously considering doing something totally out of my comfort zone this summer. Been dancing around with the idea of taking off for a few days with my hubby and leaving the Boys behind #gasp

This has not been done since we moved to Charleston. What trips we’ve taken have always included them…


Living in a new city can be overwhelming when it comes to finding the pawfect place AND people, when leaving something as precious as your pets in their care.


Millions of pet parents all over the world leave for vacation from time to time.

Whether it’s for fun adventures or business commitments, many of their travel plans don’t always include/allow pets.

In Virginia I was spoiled – Olde Towne Pet Resort was my one stop shop – it had everything. The Boys played there, bathed there, and boarded there!

We love our vet – but they do not board. The groomer does not board. My home is still under renovations so bringing in a sitter will not work right now.

What’s a Doodle Mom to do?


The burden of responsibility to give the very best care to pets is of course ours! Even when we’re not able to do so personally. Friends, neighbors and family mean well, but sometimes they do not possess the experience, patience or time to properly look after your pet.

For those reasons – it’s probably best to leave it up to the professionals. I can’t possibly be the only human dreading the thought of this search process, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

When you first venture out to find the right place for your pet, remember to inquire about the less obvious. Most pet parents will have concerns about the –

  • cleanliness of the place.
  • friendliness of the staff.

Those are all important questions, but don’t forget to ask –

  • for a list of  required vaccinations.
  • to see all the spaces and places your pet may be taken.
  • the sizes of the indoor and/or outdoor activity areas.
  • length of time outside the kennel each day.
  • if there is staff on sight during the night.


With so many pet boarding facilities in most cities, do a little research on those that advertise a speciality.

This will be a vacation for your pet as it is for you, so he/she should be in a place that caters to an activity they enjoy.

For instance:

If your dog loves splashing in the water, and racing around a huge yard then find a facility that offers either a pool or some avenue to ward of the summer heat with a little water fun and a place to run around.

One size fits all facilities are popping up all over the place. They will customize your pets stay to meet their needs and fit your budget. Overnight options to include private suites sized just right for your dog or pet sharing families have become quite popular. Some even offer packages with spa baths and pet-cams for you to catch glimpses of your pup in action during his/her stay.


If you’ve never boarded your pet before or the chosen facility will be a brand new experience, it is always good to prepare your pet before the big trip.

First make sure your pet is comfortable around strangers as well as strange dogs. If he/she exhibits any signs of fear or aggression towards either, please convey that to the boarding facility staff.

If financially feasible, take your pet there for a short visit. Try a doggie day camp afternoon. If possible maybe even one overnight while you are still in town. Ask for feedback from the staff and monitor your pets behavior upon his return.

I’ve already started my search and found two places I’m excited about. Haven’t taken the Boys to either of them yet – still looking for a few referrals from folks who are “like-minded crazy” pet parents like me. #owningit

If all goes well –  later this summer, I will be able to exhale, relax and start packing knowing both Doods will be well taken care of…


Anybody else have anxiety about leaving their dogs?

Stay strong – the weekend’s coming ❤

  • Dashlilly
    June 14, 2018

    Completely right there with you! I have a dog sitter, thankfully, but she isn’t always available. I will have to embark on the research you have wonderfully outlined here. But I have an additional problem … Lilly doesn’t like anything that takes her away from home… and she gets sick when she is unhappy. OHHHHHH. Doodles … you are so wonderful and sometimes so difficult! Have a great day!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2018

      I cannot wait for these renovations to get finished because I think I have a good person to stay over and watch them for me. But not in this mess. I do like the idea of a Doodle sitter – definitely more my style.

  • Emma
    June 14, 2018

    Mom has never left us at a kennel. She always has a pet sitter come and stay at our house with us. We do this partly because someone has to look after the felines, and partly because Mom says we stink when we come home from those places. Being home with a sitter happens a lot because with our sports we never all go along. It is fun staying home with a sitter who spoils us rotten. Mom is only gone with some of us for 2 – 3 days, but it is a nice break. Have fun at the boarding facility!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2018

      I know EXACTLY how your mom feels. I was only a fan when they were at Olde Towne Pet Resort in VA. That place was incredible. Boarding them will have to be my choice until the house gets finished, after that I will use a Doodle sitter. I really like that idea a lot.

  • Shadow and Ducky's Mom
    June 15, 2018

    I’ve been using the same pet-sitting business since Callie and Shadow were about 3 years old. And our original overnight sitter is still Shadow’s groomer – Auntie Andrea. While I was in Florida with my brother, though, the dog-daddy was home taking care of our girls. I don’t like the idea of my girls being alone – either at home or elsewhere – overnight, so I was always stressed-out if I had to leave them somewhere, even the vet’s. I used the PetSmart PetsHotel a few times when they first opened, but it got super expensive. That’s when I found Corinne.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2018

      I don’t think I could enjoy myself if I only had someone coming in to walk and feed them – leaving them alone overnight either. The Boys are so accustomed to being with a human – that’s their personalities and that’s how they were raised. It would be a wasted trip for me. Once renovations are completed, I plan to look for a Doodle sitter. You are very lucky to have found someone your crew loves.

  • Pamela
    June 15, 2018

    We have always had a pet sitter come in. Most were good. One was fantastic. And one was OMD, No, NEVER AGAIN!

    But I can see how happy, well-socialized pups like Jaxson and Harley (and probably Honey) would do well in the right boarding facility. I’m pleased that many boarding facilities have “apartments” instead of crates stacked up next to each other. I think most dogs would find that less stressful.

    I know you’ll find a great place for the boys. And hope you are relaxed enough to have a great time on your getaway.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2018

      We will see Pam, I am flipping from “try it” to ” no thanks” we will see. Can’t wait for the renovations to get finished – that will definitely give me more options.

  • Monika & Sam
    June 15, 2018

    With Elsa’s seizures, vacays without dogs is a thing of the past. None of the boarding facilities will accept her and that’s okay with me.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2018

      Vacations are always better with pets –

  • Jan K
    June 19, 2018

    We had bad experiences in the past with boarding, so we only use pet sitters now. With Luke’s stranger issues, we only have one choice – my sister. So traveling probably won’t be a big part of our lives these days and that’s OK. We can still take a weekend to go visit the grandkids, and then I often do short trips with my sisters and girlfriends (and the occasional long trip to BlogPaws!), and hubby stays home minding the farm.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 21, 2018

      I got spoiled early in VA, never had any horror stories or experiences with boarding them. But now- I can’t find one that I like. So I think I will hunker down and wait until the house renovations are completed and then set out to find me a sitter for the house. How’s Luke doing?

  • Mary Anne Coffin
    June 27, 2018

    Honestly, I have been pondering this for quite some time…. we need a network of doodle parents who wouldn’t mind doodle company for a week or two. I would absolutely LOVE to do it and know I am not alone. It doesn’t take long to see what type of dog parents people are… if there were at least 1 or 2 in each state, the piece of mind would be worth every mile driven or cent spent.


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