Q: I’m hoping to take a three-week vacation, but I don’t like leaving my pug, Lulu, in a dog hotel that long. Admittedly, she’s such a handful (think Tasmanian devil in dog form) that it’s not a great idea to leave her with friends or family.
My sister is the only exception. She has my pug’s brother, but I feel bad leaving Lulu with her because together the two pugs are more than most people can handle.
I am about to do another round of obedience training with Lulu, but do you have any other suggestions?
A: Veterinary behavior expert Lisa Radosta said her first piece of advice is to buy your sister an amazing present — maybe a fabulous pair of shoes she’s been coveting — drop the present and Lulu off at her house, and go on your trip.
If you really don’t think your sister can handle Lulu, Radosta said that there’s nothing wrong with a three-week stay at a pet hotel, if Lulu enjoys it, it’s well run and you can afford it. To find out, try taking Lulu to day care or on a weekend stay at a dog care business recommended by your vet. If she enjoys it and is well cared for, you might feel better about leaving her there for a longer stay. (If you can’t stand being apart from Lulu, find a care facility with a pet cam so you can check in on her at any time.)
Another option is hiring a pet sitter. There are sitters who visit your home several times a day or stay there for the duration of your vacation.
Finally, a refresher training class for Lulu is a good idea. Look for a positive-reinforcement trainer. You might want to try a couple of private classes as well.
Do you have a pet question? Send it to askpetconnectiongmail.com or visit Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker.