(Picture Credit: Instagram user Ed Stickele)
There are times when I travel and I have 4 dogs so they obviously can’t get on a plane with me. Right now I’m planning a trip to Italy and that’s going to be two weeks of me being very far away and possibly unreachable at times. I trust my dog sitter completely but when I travel I still worry for my dogs even though I know I’ve taken every precaution and that my dogs in good hands. I know that when I get there it’s going to be okay but I still take a lot of precautions and extra measures when I’m away and I wanted to share some of them. Here are some rock star advanced level pet parenting tips for when you are traveling and can’t take your pets with you.
1. Make Vet Aware Of Travel Plans
When I go out of town I always tell my vet. I either call or stop by the office in person and make sure they have an up-to-date credit card on file. I let them know the dates of my travel and make sure everyone in the office knows that if anyone other than me brings one of my dogs in to please treat them to the best of their abilities. I keep a big piece of paper on the wall at home with the name, number and address of both my vet and a local 24 hour emergency clinic. I don’t trust technology so I put everything of importance on paper in a little plastic sleeve and tape it to the wall. If for some reason my dog sitter can’t reach me he has all the information he needs to get my dogs the treatment they need. I also have spoken with my dog sitter about what to do in the event of an emergency so that we are on the same page in that regard.
2. Doggie & Human Emergency Kit
I live in California so I make sure my dog sitter knows where my earthquake supplies are in the event of a natural disaster. You may live in a high fire danger or flood area. If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, your dog sitter should know what to do and where your emergency supplies are. If a huge earthquake were to hit I have 50 gallons of water and a weeks worth of canned dog food and canned human food as well to help get us through it and my dog sitter knows where all of those supplies are stored. Let your dog sitter know where your travel carriers and crates, harnesses, leashes… anything they may need in the event of some kind of disaster. Even if you showed them all of this last time they dog sat for you, go over it again. People forget things. Don’t just expect them to remember something you told them 6 months ago.
3. Emergency Contacts & Backup Dog Sitter On Call
When I go out of town for any extended period of time I make sure my dog sitter has the names and phone numbers of at least two friends or family members who are willing to pinch hit in the event of an emergency. I may be paranoid but what if my dog sitter breaks his arm? What if he gets the flu and can’t get out of bed? There are times when even a dog sitter may need a little help and I want him to know exactly who to reach out to. I also call my back up people and make sure they have my dog sitters name and phone number in their contacts so it doesn’t come up as an unlisted or unrecognized number. Again, I make sure these contacts are on paper because technology can fail us at times.
4. Backup Key
Even the best of dog sitters can lose a key or get locked out of the house so I make sure I have an extra key hidden in one of those realtor lock boxes in my yard. The combination to the lock is on a piece of paper but I also have the dog sitter enter it into their phone as well so they will have it even if they can’t get into the house. I also leave a key with a neighbor just in case.
5. Prepare Extra Meals
When I travel I always make sure to leave lots of extra doggie meals in the freezer. I do the raw feeding so I prep enough meals for my trip and then some. Usually about a week of extra meals just in case. It’s not something we think about when we travel but a blizzard, storm or natural disaster could delay a return flight. Not to mention, when I get home from 2 weeks of travel I don’t want to have to run to the store and start prepping more dog food immediately. I need a few days to unpack and relax, so it’s a good precaution that ultimately helps me out when I get home.
I also leave a case of back up canned food in the house as I mentioned before. It’s part of my earthquake kit but lots of situations could cause a power outage at home. What if the power goes out and all my beautiful raw meals thaw and go bad? My dogs still need to eat. It makes me feel good to know there are backups upon backups.
6. Leave Some Spending Cash
I always put an extra $100 in an envelope as emergency money. You just never know. What if a leash or collar malfunctions? What if a dog bowl breaks? There are a million little things that could go wrong while I am away and I feel good knowing that I’ve covered all my bases. Even the small bases.
Do you have any advanced level rock star dog parenting tricks, tips or precautions for when you travel and have to leave your babies behind? I sure would love to hear them. Anything that can help me feel more prepared and relaxed when I’m on my trip is appreciated!
Thanks for reading!