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We have a toy poodle who we adore. Before we got him, our family used to travel a lot. Since we've had him, I haven't booked any far-away vacations because I'm nervous about leaving him. I've left him for a day or two with extended family, and they've been wonderful, but I don't want to keep imposing. I'm on the look out now for a good dog sitter as I could never leave him in a kennel environment due to this size and that fact that he's an incredibly picky eater. How did everyone here go about finding a good dog sitter? Also, related question, we are heading for a short vacation next month within driving distance and are planning on bringing our toy poodle. What are thoughts on leaving the dog in the hotel room for a few hours when we go out to dinner? He does have a crate, but we've always left the crate door open for him to freely move in and out. Is it more traumatic for the dog to be in an unfamiliar hotel room alone for a few hours or to be away from us completely for a several days with a pet sitter?
 

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I am lucky that my niece watches my dog when we travel. She will have her for 12 days at the end of this month/start of February. I figure I spent hours babysitting her when she was a child, and I have babysat her two boys, so I don't feel bad. She and her boys love to dog sit, and she has a fenced backyard, so I don't feel that it is a big imposition. The dog is dropped at daycare everyday like normal, so it is really just a couple of hours a night. I am lucky that I have family to watch her.

I would post on Facebook and ask my friends if they have a personal recommendation. Otherwise, Rover.com works in some of the larger areas.
 

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Years ago I used to dog-sit for a couple. They found me at the vet clinic where I worked. You could try asking at your own clinic, most employees are pet lovers and might be willing to pet sit.
 

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Oh and in the short term situation, personally I would bring my dogs. I take them with me to various places and they are not anxious types, so I would expect them to be fine in a hotel for a few hours. My only concern would be barking if there was a lot of surrounding noise.
 

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Thank you BeverlyT! I just went on Rover.com and looks like there are several sitters in my area, with reviews, which is super helpful. You're very lucky to have your niece watch your dog, and the fenced in backyard sounds like a dream!
 

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Thanks Starvt! My toy poodle is purse size...5 pounds, so he's very easy to travel with. I've just never left him in a hotel room alone. Hope the barking doesn't start!! And I'll have to remember to put the "do not disturb" sign on the door. Last thing I would want is housekeeping coming in when he was alone. Great idea to ask my vet office!
 

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I don't think I'd leave a dog in a hotel room without being completely sure the hotel is ok with it. So called "pet friendly" hotels vary a lot. Some have fenced dog parks, dog walkers on call, and a spa service to handle your pup's encounter with 100% organic free range Canada Goose poop. Others just have two rooms set aside for travelling dog owners down back by the door closest to the kitchen dumpster.
You run some risks if your hotel isn't really geared up to deal with dogs. One is that the hotel might react badly if your dog barks and you aren't there to handle the problem. Another is that the cleaning staff might ignore your no service request and enter the room. Even worse, the cleaning staff might panic upon finding a loose dog in the room. There are a surprising number of people who are simply terrified of dogs.
 

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I‘m lucky my daughter loves to babysit my dog when we go on vacation so I can relax knowing my dog is having a great time and well taken care of. She lives in another city, however her airport has more direct flights to Europe so it works well for us.

I used to take my dog to a small dog play group at a local humane society where I met someone who works for Rover. Since I knew my dog loved her, and her dogs, I went ahead and scheduled a few single days to see how she did with the other dogs that she had daily as part of her doggie day care. I knew my dog enjoyed it because she was happy to go there and happy to come home at the end of the day. We used her a few times. In addition this woman volunteered at the human Society doing therapy visits in schools as part of their program for which she had to have a background check so I felt safe.

However I should point out Rover doesn’t properly vet the people who work for them. You have to be extremely careful.



I would ask if someone who works for your vet babysits dogs or ask your friends.

As for in a hotel room, I would leave your dog in a crate with the door shut. You don’t have to worry about staff inadvertently entering the room and your dog getting loose.

If your dog barks when you aren't in the room, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone unless you have specifically asked the hotel if it’s okay and they can find you a room far enough away from other customers that it won’t be a problem.
 

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We've not made any really close friends since moving to Washington 5 years ago, and our family lives thousands of miles away, so I definitely feel your pain!! I only ever left my last dog with my parents, and it's hard not having that option anymore.

We visited a local kennel that came highly recommended to us and the yard isn't even supervised!! Of course it says it is on the website. But the reality was that from the moment we arrived until the moment we left, a large doodle was out there humping a smaller dog who kept desperately trying to get away. Ugh. So glad we checked it out. No way are we risking Peggy's socialization there, not unless it was an absolute emergency. Would you just drop your dog off at a dog park? NOPE.

Since then I've been asking around like crazy: Dog park folks. Community websites. Facebook groups. Other owners at our teen obedience classes. Our trainer. No luck.

I keep hoping someone will want to set up a trade scenario, assuming our dogs get alone: We watch yours. You watch ours. Easy peasy! (Nope.)

Our one Rover experience (just a meet and greet) didn't feel right, but I've set up another meeting with a couple I found via Pet Sitters International:


They would actually stay in our home, which is not something I ever thought I'd consider, but it really does make so much sense. So much easier on our dogs to be in familiar surroundings. But who knows if it will be a good fit. The other people we found through that site barely spend any time at your house during the day. Basically just sleep there and check in once or twice. Not ideal.

As for bringing dogs to hotels, I did that with my last girl (a minipoo mix) many times. We liked chains like Kimpton that don't charge extra for pets.

Gracie could potty anywhere (parking lots, city sidewalks, wherever) and was relaxed in her crate, so it wasn't a big deal travelling with her. We always made sure our cell phone numbers were on file at the front desk in case of emergency. We'd also leave the TV on to create a sense of normalcy, and spend as much time as we could getting her comfortable before we left her alone in the hotel room.

Of course, if you're on vacation in a place that's not very dog-friendly, where you can't bring your dog out and about with you at all, it's not going to be much fun because you'll have to constantly return to your room. A night or two, here and there, sure. But we generally just avoided the hassle by planning dog-friendly trips, like camping, as much as possible.

With Peggy we want more freedom and so took the plunge, booking an Alaskan cruise for the spring. Doesn't get less dog friendly than that, so the clock is TICKING.

Good luck to you!!
 

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Our neighborhood has a FB page and people on it regularly offer or request pet sitting. My daughter and I do this . There is also another neighbor who does as well. So if you live in a neighborhood with a group FB page ask if not I am sure your local vet can help. And as I type I just got a booking for May, lol. and I have a day one today for two standard poodles..
 

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We asked our vet for recommendations and used a neighborhood site called 'Nextdoor.'

If you haven't tried Nextdoor you might want to give it a look. It's our area go-to place for lost pets. As soon as one goes missing, we post and people are very good about helping out.

Please think twice about leaving your dog alone in a strange hotel room.
 

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I would see personally if you have any older neighbor children IE like twelve who are responsible who would be willing to possibly come over to your house to dog sit, or if you have some good neighbors who would be willing to dog sit?
I would be very hesitant about leaving my dog in a hotel room even in a crate because of the barking risk and the risk of cleaning staff coming in and bugging her.

Hope you find something that works.
 

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One time we rented a house for a week through VRBO. That worked out really well. The spoos just slept on the couch when we went out. The homeowner did the cleaning after guests checked out, so there was little danger of unexpected staff letting the dogs escape.
 

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I am sure there are some good rover.com sitters, but there are members here who have had awful experiences as quoted above. My mom found a great young woman for help during ehr recovery from hip replacement surgery at her vet's office. I am lucky to have a neighbor who I barter with for pet/house watching. And another nearby lady who is very reasonable. I have recently used a woman who boards at her home for Javelin if I need to not take any dogs since handling three large dogs and a flock of chickens is a lot to ask.

As to hotels I do travel a lot with my poodles since we do rally and obedience competitively. I never leave them in a room unattended for more than the length of time it takes to go to the breakfast buffet and bring the plate back to the room or to take bags to the car. Most hotels really don't appreciate unattended dogs in rooms.
 

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Thank for you for all this feedback! I am nervous about leaving him in the hotel room alone. I even told my husband that I'm nervous that someone could possibly steal him from the room....I know that sounds crazy, but he's only 5 pounds and could easy fit into a bag. Ugh. Cowpony, the house suggestion would be ideal, but too late at this point. Something to consider for the future! Lots of people are suggesting asking the vet for sitter suggestions, so I will do that. Once I find someone good, I will feel a huge weight lifted. PeggytheParti, Alaska sounds amazing! I've had friends visit who say it changed their view of the world. Good for you for booking, I'm sure you'll find someone good to care for your baby! Skylar, very scary about the Rover incidents! It's sad that you can't trust people, even those with lots of good reviews.
 

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I had a trusted dog walker years ago, long before Rover existed. I used her for quite a while. Shortly before Christmas, I let her know that Gracie was recovering from a weird stomach thing, still had diarrhea, and would need a little extra time outside. No problem. I also left an envelope on the counter with the woman's name on it, with a Christmas card and cash bonus inside.

Well. I came home that evening to a very desperate dog and the envelope STILL on the counter. If not for that envelope, I'd never have known she hadn't shown up. No text. No call. No email. Nothing.

Even worse, when I asked her what had happened, she was very defensive, told me a sad, convoluted story, and said that other dog walkers are "even worse."

Lesson learned: If you have anyone coming to your home to care for your pet, have a sign-in sheet. Or (better yet) install a security camera and let them know about it.
 

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Same thing happened to me many years ago with a dog walker....came home from a long day at work and the dog was a mess, clearly hadn't been let out all day. She never told me she didn't come that day until she admitted it after I confronted her. I wonder how many times she did that in the past; that time I just happened to notice. Some people don't have a conscience.
 

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Same thing happened to me many years ago with a dog walker....came home from a long day at work and the dog was a mess, clearly hadn't been let out all day. She never told me she didn't come that day until she admitted it after I confronted her. I wonder how many times she did that in the past; that time I just happened to notice. Some people don't have a conscience.
So sad, really. They're not only betraying their clients but also innocent dogs.

The dog walker I used after that brought her own sign-in sheets to keep at my front door. She was an angel. Too bad she lives 3,000 miles away!

When you find someone good, hold on tight :)
 
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