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How awful that your petsitter didn't show up. I can assure you not all petsitters are bad. I even go extra times and my neighbor who also pet sits does too. If I notice any odd behavior I notify my client, and I send text reports and pictures every so often especially the first few days.
Wish you lived on the Olympic Peninsula!!
 

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We used to have a wonderful pet sitter who came to the house, but she passed away. Since then we have tried boarding facilities, but the last time we boarded our pets was probably 10 years ago now, and I will never do that again. Ended up with one getting kennel cough, even though he was protected, and the dogs coming home filthy and scared.

I agree that dogs should never be left alone in a hotel room unless the hotel says otherwise. Having your dog with you might be the best choice, because at least you know the dog is in good care.
 

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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?
We have traveled over 70,000 kilometers over the past 2.5 years with our young standard poodle. He is a fabulous truck/trailer/air traveler, and a model guest at hotels. Occasionally we get some discussion from the front desk about his size - some hotels seem to have a weight limit, and Charlie the Poodle is over 80 pounds. We offer to go elsewhere, but I first demonstrate Charlie 's heel, down, stay while I walk away, wait and instant recall on my signal. Then I ask if the guest children in the Motel are nearly as well behaved! No clerk has ever taken us up on the offer to leave. We never leave Charlie alone in the room. The aforementioned guest children frequently gallop up and down the hallways , whooping and shrieking and although Charlie is silent on command, I worry he might bark if we are not there. I have had to stick my head out of the room and terrify the rambunctious children with my Gargoyle Face. I love kids, but riots at 11 pm when we need to get an early start is just too much. We always take Charlie along when we go out to dinner. He has a big comfortable nest in the back seat of the truck, and never gets cold due to his heavy wooly coat. We can then check on him regularly. Of course we don,t leave him in the truck unattended in summer. Our trailer has air conditioning and we make sure and get a site with power hook up. We were lucky and found a great dog daycare at a farm outside of town. But Charlie can hold his own with a pack of big dogs, your little one might be better off with a home sitter.

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When it was an extended trip involving flying. we used to board our girls at Pete and Mac's because they (at least used to) staff 24/7. We took the girls to visit a couple of times first, no advance notice to the staff, and toured it before we decided to try it.

When we're on a driving trip, we usually took them with and did a lot of pre-scouting for dog friendly everythings. We even rented an RV once. With our boys, so far it's only been driving trips, from 2-4 hours to 2 days driving. Finding a pet sitter we felt comfortable with was hard. We've had varying degrees of satisfaction with boarding and sitting, but so far the worst experience was our good friends teenage son who loved dogs but not cleanup :).

If you're not familiar with BringFido, it's good resource for finding dog friendly options getting to and staying at your destination. Of course, the travel sites are good for this too.

At least once while traveling with the girls we found a day care and put them in for a few hours while we were attending a non-dog event. Only when the weather is clement, and if there isn't an outdoor patio, we leave them in the car if we go into a restaurant and either get a window seat to watch, or take turns going out to check on them. We let the hostess know that our poodles are in the car too, in case a diner notices something that needs to be checked on.

My preference would always be for them to stay at home, if they weren't coming with, but we're generally driving on our travels these days, so I haven't tried to find a sitter in years.

If you're comfortable telling where you're headed, some of us may have traveled thru and could have some ideas for you.
 

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Peggy the other thing you can do is have a text message check in with your care taker. Generally the people who care for our animals will send pictures. I hadn't even thought about the dog being stolen from a hotel room, mine are friendly but way too big for someone to sneak out with them.
 

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We have 4 dogs so boarding is not an option! Blessedly we have a wonderful sitter who stays at our house and even takes the dogs for walks (carrying the Chihuahua!). We go on at least two one- or two-week trips each year. We have to reserve early with her and she is fairly expensive - $80-$100 a day depending on our critter population at the time and whether or not she has to water the garden.
 

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Peggy the other thing you can do is have a text message check in with your care taker. Generally the people who care for our animals will send pictures. I hadn't even thought about the dog being stolen from a hotel room, mine are friendly but way too big for someone to sneak out with them.
Yes, we were quite anxious the first time Charlie was boarded for 2 weeks. The regular updates via text and photos of him clearly enjoying himself were very reassuring. He did lose about 10 pounds , and the sitter was very open about him only eating 3 cups of kibble a day compared to his usual 5-6 cups. She returned a big bag of uneaten kibble, He also had non stop wrestling matches with upwards of 8 big dogs all day and long treks through the snowy woods to burn off energy. Charlie always pines and goes off his food when I am gone, even when he is left at home with my husband. As soon as I returned, he ate about 7 cups of kibble a day for nearly a month and has regained the weight.

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We take our dogs wherever possible and if it's good weather we leave them in our vehicle when they can't come inside somewhere. However we also have had good success with bringing them with us, and taking them to a local day boarder when we're busy, them picking them up to come with us again for the nights in the hotel. That way the dogs can enjoy the dog friendly parts of your vacation :) However if that's not an option, we are good friends with our vets and they have good recommendations for pet sitters.

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Discussion Starter #31
Thank you for all these great replies!
DogforLife, Charlie's Person's response made me laugh as well. I can picture the people at the front desk of the hotel watching their smart poodle obey every command in awe.
Great tips also on possibly leaving my little guy in the car instead of the hotel for short stints while we are in a restaurant. We will be in Vermont, which is definitely not warm this time of year, so maybe while we're in and out of restaurants I can set up a cozy space for him the car instead of leaving him in the hotel room.
Johanna, I've read that having a pet sitter come to your house is the least stressful option for a dog as they prefer to stay in their own environment.
Rose n Poos, thank you for the BringFido recommendation! I will take a look!
Charlie's person, my toy poodle also doesn't eat when he's not home, and he doesn't really have room to lose any weight. I've been assured by the vet that he won't starve himself, but sometimes I wonder....
 

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We will be in Vermont, which is definitely not warm this time of year, so maybe while we're in and out of restaurants I can set up a cozy space for him the car instead of leaving him in the hotel room.
I bought a plug in heated dog size throw from this company on Amazon in 2008. It still works but the exact product is no longer available. Mine came with a cigarette lighter adapter for use in the car. You can get an inverter if you don't have one already, plug in, and woohoo warm puppy! I've seen the plug in, microwaveable, and self heating products online at the major pet retailers also. It doesn't need to be full dog size, just a warm area to cozy up to will help. The pet specific products usually limit upper temps and some are adjustable temp.

 

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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?
As far as pet sitting, I would reach out to your vet (sometimes some of the techs there moonlight and do pet sitting and dog walking, or they may have a client that does it and can refer you to someone they know) or a local dog training club or school, often they can provide referrals. Do not work with a service like Rover or Wag, they don't do appropriate background checks on the people that work through them, most of whom are contractors, and there are numerous horror stories with each one of dogs that sitters have lost or have been killed under their care.....

For hotels, I stay in them all the time with my dogs when traveling for shows and I would never think of leaving them alone in the room for any extended time, even if they were crated. The only time one of mine is alone is when I take the other out to potty for 5 mins or so and they are used to this and relaxed about it. We always get take out for dinner when traveling, never go out to dinner, and I take them with me when I go to pick up the food. Even the quietest of dogs will bark at unfamiliar sounds and there is always noise in a hotel, people walking in the hallway, people in the room next door, etc. As noted, mine are very used to being in hotels and so, for the most part, ignore voices in the hallway and other hotel commotion, etc. but if they do bark, I stop them right away. A dog that is not used to a hotel situation and also possibly stressed by being left alone is likely going to bark and/or whine and if you are not there for several hours and get complaints you could get asked to leave. It also doesn't help to keep hotels pet friendly if unattended dogs bark or otherwise create a disturbance. If you do wind up taking your dog and work out staying in a hotel with someone present, please also remember to bring your own sheet or blanket to put over the hotel's bedding to keep it clean if you plan to let your dog on the bed. Shedding is not an issue with poodles haha, but I always bring a nice thick blanket in case they have wet or dirty feet from outside.....
 

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bring your own sheet or blanket to put over the hotel's bedding to keep it clean if you plan to let your dog on the bed.
Great reminder! I have a couple of under $5 Walmart fleece throws I bring, one for the bed and one for the sofa or chair if there is one, and in the car.
Walmart throw blankie
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Thank you Rose n Poos for the heated blanket idea for the car. Sounds cozy! Eclipse, your poodles are beautiful, and look so comfy in their hotel room. Thank for the advice and suggestions. The consensus on here seems to be not to leave a poodle in the hotel room alone.
 

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As far as where to leave your poodle when you are traveling without him, look into any training schools in your area. The place where we took our mini poodle for puppy class as well as some other training classes, offers dog sitting through a couple of their trainers. The trainer will take your dog into their home with them, where the dog gets to live in their house and not be stuck in a kennel all day. Since we already attended classes there we felt we could trust the people we were leaving our dog with. Other than my parents who I also trust, I felt more comfortable leaving him with the trainer than with other well-meaning family who offered, simply because that family never owned a dog and I was worried they might forget it wasn't okay to leave a door open while unloading groceries or something.

Edit: I forgot to add the trainer would email us daily updates and pictures to show how he was doing, which made me feel so much better. As a bonus, they also asked if there was anything we were struggling with training-wise so they could work with him on it while we were gone.
 

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I just came back from 12 days traveling with our 2 year old toy. He's been with us for several vacations from 3-4 days, a week, and now 12 days in several hotels. We end up taking him everywhere with us. If the weather is warm enough to eat outdoors, we use restaurants that will allow him at an outdoor table.

The hotels all have varying rules for pets, some being pretty restrictive. One hotel specifically said the dog couldn't be left alone in the room unless in a cage. Others don't care. Some allow them most everywhere on their property, some severely limit it. You need to check the hotel rules before you go.

On our last trip we brought a Wyze camera with us because we wanted to try leaving him in our room. It did not go well. He whined, barked, and even howled, even though we left him with plenty of dirty clothes, shoes, and food. We were in a free standing unit and he was safe. We waited a few days before trying, and he still behaved that way. it was painful to watch. That part of the trip was in Disney and we decided to put him in their pet care center called Best Friends and got him a room with outdoor access, plus paid for a few extras such as playtime and explore time. This was in addition to regular walks and feeding. We were surprised that our picky eater actually ate some of the food we left for him. They told us he was fine and only acted like they were going to kill him when we were around.

One think if you do travel with him.... make sure you have the paperwork from your vet showing he's up to date on his shots, including bordatella. We were unable to leave ours for day care with other dogs because he did not have the flu shot.

For shorter, day long, trips, we are fortunate that our neighbor takes him for the day. We haven't left him anywhere overnight. We used to travel far more frequently and it has substantially decreased since getting him. We will now start trying to board him somewhere, as I do not want to impose on my neighbor for a long vacation. We are also lucky that there is a man who only watches small dogs of 20 pounds or less, in his home and either for day care or boarding. We left him there for an hour and he seemed to be OK.

In the end, the Disney pet care person told us it is there experience that dogs make huge fusses when their owners are around and then are perfectly fine when they are gone. We witnessed it there as well when we left him with an employee to inspect the accommodations we were thinking of getting. The little guy screamed bloody murder when we walked away, and 10 minutes later was in an employees arms snuggling. The little stinker......
 

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I just cancelled the two "trial runs" I'd booked at a local boarding facility. I just couldn't get the sight of one dog being incessantly humped by a much bigger dog out of my head.

Fingers crossed our meeting on Tuesday with a local petsitting couple goes well.
 

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We're in search of a new boarding facility since the old one closed. Next week we're visiting one that does live streaming of each dog's 'room.' It costs more than I'd like and I do wonder what I'll do if our pup looks sad, but I think we may give it a one night try before we book a longer stay.

I'm not comfortable with the places that have free play that may end up unsupervised.
 

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I'm not comfortable with the places that have free play that may end up unsupervised.
Agreed. That's my primary concern, too. And after visiting one that describes the yard as "supervised," and seeing that it very much wasn't, I'm even less comfortable.

Who among us would drop our dog off at a dog park and just walk away? Eek.

Interestingly, the owners of dogs with social issues are the ones who've raved the most to me about our local boarding facilities. I can't tell if they're oblivious to their dogs' problems or just thrilled to have a break from them.
 
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