Where to Leave Your Dog While on Vacation: 7 Ideal Options

As much as you’d love to travel with your dog, sometimes this just isn’t feasible. Here’s where to leave your dog while on vacation.

63 million U.S. households own at least one dog. As much as we love our furry companions, they do sometimes present a hitch in our plans. That’s because these American families will have to figure out pet care while on vacation.

It seems like a small task, but it can be both confusing and stressful. With so many options available, which is the best for you and your dog?

The last thing you want to do is worry about your canine the entire time you’re on vacation. And in the wrong hands, the experience may cause undue stress to your dog.

But if you know all the options available, you’ll be in a better position to find the dog vacation care you need. Here’s where to leave your dog while on vacation.

1. Get a Pet Sitter

Some pet owners fear that using a boarding service may stress their pets. If you need places for pets to stay during vacation, why not use your own home? You’ll be able to rest easy as they remain in familiar comfort.

A pet sitter is a professional who will take care of your dog while you’re gone. They’ll provide frequent and daily visits to keep your dog’s food and water bowls full. Most also include services such as dog walking.

If you want a more watchful eye, go for a house sitter instead. They’ll be with your pet all day long and provide constant company.

Be picky with the house and pet sitter you choose, since they’ll have access to your entire home while you’re away.

2. Ask a Friend

Would a pet sitter break the bank? This is when it’s time to call in those favors. Ask your neighbors, friends, or family to watch your dog.

They may serve the same functions as a pet sitter, such as dropping in to make sure your furry companion is in good health. However, they may want to bring your dog into their own home. This way, they don’t have to go out of their way to commute to your place.

This can also be a more sociable option if your friend owns pets of their own.

3. Stick to Traditional Pet Boarding Services

No matter where you live, an animal boarding house is no doubt nearby. Before you head off on vacation, you’ll drop your dog off at what is essentially a pet hotel. These can vary in services.

Do your research before choosing a boarding house since so many options are available. Do you want your pet to spend a lot of time with others? Then look for a boarding house that has group playtime.

Most boarding services focus on either dogs or cats, as they require different accommodations. Compare reviews for these services so you can rest easy knowing your dogs are receiving the individual care they need.

4. Try a Pet Resort

Want to know what to do with dogs when on vacation? Send them on a vacation of their own! A pet resort is like a boarding service taken to the next level.

Many of these offer daycare, playgrounds, and on-site grooming. It’ll be hard for your pet to miss you when they’re having this much fun. Although you can send your dog to the resort while you’re on vacation, many pet owners will drop off their companions as an occasional gift.

Some of the most modern dog resorts even have waterparks. If you want a good example of pet resort accommodations, click here.

5. Entrust Your Pet to a Veterinarian

Pet vacation care can be doubly important if your pet suffers from medical problems. A pet sitter or boarding service may not be the safest choice if they need care around the clock. If so, you should contact your current veterinarian.

Almost every veterinarian has overnight services to monitor unhealthy and recovering pets. This is your best bet when your dog needs constant supervision. In case anything bad happens while you’re gone, you’ll rest assured that the skilled veterinarian staff will be there.

Please keep in mind that this should only be done for high-need pets. If your fuzzy companion is just fine, don’t ask your veterinarian to take them in while you’re gone. One of the other options will be a better fit for your wallet and your pet’s comfort.

6. Where to Leave Your Dog While on Vacation? Bring Them With You!

It’s not easy traveling with pets — and some can’t stand being cooped up in a cage or car for countless hours. But if your dog doesn’t mind travel, you might want to consider bringing them along.

Yes, it takes extra planning to handle pet accommodations. However, the right dog might love the vacation just as much as you do! Not to mention, traveling with a dog can be even more fun than traveling without.

7. Use a Pet Relocation Service

What if you want to bring your pet along, but can’t? A pet relocation service can take care of the travel arrangements for you. These companies handle the stress of routing, navigating complicated rules, and delivering your dog from point A to point B.

These services will, of course, be more expensive than handling pet transit on your own. But it can be worth it, especially as far as airline travel is concerned.

Finding the Right Vacation Care for the Right Dog

Every dog is different. While one canine may enjoy the comfort of home, another may have a blast playing with others at a pet resort. Only you can truly know where to leave your dog while on vacation.

These assistants specialize in ensuring your dog has the best care possible. There’s a good chance they may receive even better care in the hands of professionals than at home.

If you’re fond of pets and travel, search our blog for more information.


  • Linda Manns Linneman

    These are such great suggestions. We love a pets. They are part of the family. We always want to make sure they are safe. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Sandy Klocinski

    Awesome suggestions. My boy isn’t people or animal friendly so It is difficult to leave him. I found a sitter who stays in my home when I am away. He seems to do best if he is kept in his own environment.

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