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Old 02-14-2013, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
19,430 posts, read 17,670,605 times
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We are hoping to go on vacation this year, would be our first in 3 years but we have an 14 year old Husky who has to be fed a special diet and can at times take a while to eat it. The special diet is raw in the morning and either tunafish or eggs in the evening. We are very concerned about leaving her for 2 weeks, we would be hiring a pet sitter for her and our other younger 3 dogs. She also occasional gets stuck and cannot get her hind legs to work properly so needless to say we are holding off our final planning until we decide what to do. Has anyone left their older dogs for a long vacation or do you just resign to the fact that until they final pass, you do not take vacations.

PS. there are really no one we can trust to leave her. My sister i trust be she rescues and has up to 9 dogs at a time at her place.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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A good pet sitter should be able to handle the dogs special needs.

One thing you should do before you leave is to provide your vet with a letter stating that this person will be caring for your dog during that time and that the sitter has the authorization to bring the dog in for any care needed.

that's what I've done on a couple of occasions.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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While Artie's not as old (he's 9) and has no special needs (although he is really "special" in a monster sort of way), I have some routines with him that are not, um, normal, especially when it comes to food. Preparing his morning meal is a chore. Preparing his evening meal is an EVENT. His bedtime treat routine is ridiculous. His potty routine is precision -- let him out first thing, come in and give him food, let him out AGAIN right after that. It's not that he needs all these things; it's that he's been conditioned to them and they're what he's used to.

When I've had a pet-sitter come stay with him, I leave them VERY DETAILED instructions. My husband calls it "The Artie BOOK" (most dogs have, if anything, a few lines of "do this and do that"). According to the pet-sitter(s), the VERY DETAILED instructions are what they prefer! They want to know EXACTLY what needs to be done instead of guessing. They want to know the dog's exact routine so that they can replicate it.

I understand your fears. I can't advise you about whether to go on vacation or not -- I don't even know what I'd do in that situation -- but if you do decide to go, don't be afraid to write down EVERYTHING that your pet-sitter should and shouldn't do. Even if you think that some things are assumed (don't assume) or are common sense (don't rely on that), write down EVERY LAST LITTLE THING, no matter how detailed it is. Your pet-sitter will appreciate that they don't have to guess or wonder.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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I feel your pain. We have a 12 year old diabetic Pug with dementia and I think it would be too upsetting and frightening for him to be boarded anywhere. We try to schedule with my oldest daughter and her husband to come and cabin sit and they watch all the critters for us. It's a mini-vacation for them too.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:24 AM
 
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This became a big problem for us. Our old lab lived to be 16 years old last year. Our younger dog is approximately 9 or 10 years old. We used to send them to a kennel until my lab reached the age the kennel no longer takes dogs. I think he was about 12 years old at the time. We tried leaving them with my SIL, who loves dogs, but they were always escaping while she was at work. The old lab wasn't a concern because he had a the good sense to go back to her house. She'd find him waiting for her. But the younger hound would have been lost forever if a neighborhood kid hadn't captured him and watched him for the day.

After that, we postponed taking family vacations together. Instead, hubby and I would take separate trips with the children. By the time our children were young adults, hubby and I tried took a one week vacation---just the two of us---and left the dogs with our son and also hired one of his friends to stay at the house too. They handled it okay. The dog didn't get loose or die, but the lab had his first #2 accidents in the house, which indicated that they didn't do a good job of keeping them on a schedule.

Now that we only have the hound, you'd think it would be easier, but it's not. It has been so long since he has been in a kennel, I'm not sure how he would do. In December, I had to go on a trip. Hubby wasn't able to watch him because he travels for work. I took the hound with me on my trip. He got terribly sick on the trip, and I had a difficult time getting him proper vet care while we were on the road.

Hubby and I are planning a two week vacation at the end of May. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the hound. If our son is in town, I'm confident that he will be able to care for the dog, but he might not be living in the same city in May.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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One thing I would do is ask the pet sitter if it would be possible for him/her to keep the husky at his/her house, due to his leg issues. Will probably cost you more, but if you really want to go on vacation, I'd consider doing that. Personally, I'd put off vacation for another time.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:26 PM
 
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I wouldn't go.I have posted about our non vacationing except to local areas where we can take our dogs along.La Quinta is great.


For me I couldn't enjoy myself and 2 weeks is a long time to be away from a dog who needs extra care.

Just my thoughts.(you did ask)
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I think you really need to find a dog sitter that will be perfectly happy coming to your home and hanging there all the time, or someone with their own home that will include your dog into their household. There are plenty of sitters that are retired or disabled. There are also dogwalkers that would be happy to provide this type of service if you could make sure they'd spend enough time with your dog. I'd try out a service for a few hours several times to make sure you're comfortable long before you leave.

Younger relatives with active lifestyles often don't make great petsitters. One of my family members wasn't responsible enough to feed our horses when I was growing up. They ate through the barn to get to the hay, and ate the foot long goldfish from the water trough. Another family member got worried when calls weren't returned and drove several hours to check in, or things could have been even worse by the time we got home.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
19,430 posts, read 17,670,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abbara View Post
I wouldn't go.I have posted about our non vacationing except to local areas where we can take our dogs along.La Quinta is great.


For me I couldn't enjoy myself and 2 weeks is a long time to be away from a dog who needs extra care.

Just my thoughts.(you did ask)
We are kinda leaning this way right now. Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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Is this the sort of vacation you can bring a dog along on? Last year a good friend and her husband took their 14-year-old Chow on a road trip from Michigan to Texas, with many stops along the way. He was arthritic and cranky - they have other dogs and had family care for those at their home but like you were unwilling to leave "Chewy" in someone else's care. Apparently he had an absolutely grand time (he adored riding in their van) and although he has since passed, they're very happy they were able to give him a special "him-only" trip.

That said, I have people who I very much trust to care for my dogs if I'm away, and a wonderful vet who also does boarding - but if I had an elderly dog with special needs, I might theoretically delay vacation. On the other other hand, there are pet sitters who are extremely good and experienced with all sorts of medical conditions and as long as whoever is caring for your dog is authorised to take her to the vet and is unquestionably reliable, that is also a fine option.
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