What to Do With Your Dog When You Travel

travelroad trips & staycations

Going on vacation soon? Wondering what to do with your dog when you travel? Consider a doggy boot camp, combining boarding and dog training, for your dog while you're on your trip.

what to do with your dog when you travel

We recently took a 3 1/2 week family vacation to Europe. As part of our planning process, we had to figure out what to pack, where to stay, whether to rent a car and what to know when we decided to road trip, how to stick to a budget, what types of tours to go on, and how to get around with our family in Europe. In the midst of our planning, it occurred to us that we were forgetting something... or rather someone: our dog!

Hashtag the super beagle has become such a part of our family that until a couple of months before our European family adventure, I think we subconsciously thought he would be joining us. (Check out our 7 benefits of owning a dog!) And then it hit us that he would have to stay home! And we had no idea what to do. We searched online "what to do with your dog when you travel" only to find boarding as the most popular solution. But, 24-hour-a-day boarding didn't seem like an option to us. And, after several attempts, it became clear that finding a dog sitter wasn't an option either. We were stuck!

What to Do With Your Dog When You Travel

Fortunately, a friend reached out about her husband, Ty's, new business: a doggy boot camp and boarding facility (click over to read the glorious details). Ty, a seasoned dog trainer, was expanding his business. He would now be combining his dog training expertise with boarding. After calling him, we learned that Hashtag would spend every night at a trainer's house. He would have ample time during the day to play. Those two things alone told us that we had found our solution. But what we weren't prepared for was the value we would be getting.

See the pic of him below? He lost 5 pounds we had been desperately trying to get him to lose just from getting such great exercise. And look how happy he is. This is a picture that Ty sent us during our trip, letting us know Hashtag was in good hands.

What to Do With Your Dog When You Travel-Hashtag on a Walk

7 Benefits of Investing in a Doggy Boot Camp: Professional Dog Training and Boarding

If you're trying to figure out what to do with your dog when you travel, consider these 7 reasons to check out a doggy boot camp:

  1. During the day, dogs stay in an indoor, home-like environment. They remain indoors with exception to some outdoor time for training and to visit the small backyard for potty breaks.
  2. What to Do With Your Dog When You Travel-PinterestThey remain on regular schedules, reducing anxiety and accidents.
  3. They spend time in play groups. Ty even does personality matching to put dogs with other dogs who are good matches for their energy level and play style.
  4. They get breaks and the alone time they need. Little rooms, hallways, and areas allow the dogs to take a break from the other dogs.
  5. Their schedules include nap time. I'm starting to think I need to go to one of these boot camps LOL!
  6. Instead of the dogs going into a cement kennel run where they're going to relieve themselves in the same area where they sleep, at Ty's place they sleep in crates, much like many do at home. And during the training, they often go home with the trainers to do actual in-home training.
  7. For the professional dog training, dogs get several sessions of on and off leash obedience training, working on issues like aggression, socialization, anxiety, destruction, and a lot more. Ty's agenda is to make sure the dogs are polite with people and dogs. Beyond that it's all about customizing the training for each individual dog. Where Hashtag was concerned, he was able to get trained on not running off, not freaking out at the door bell, not jumping up on people, and not eating the trash. It has made a world of difference! If you're struggling to find a reputable trainer, it might help a ton to know details like Spectrum Canine Dog Training are located in Bay Area.

According to an article on Anything German Shepherd, the cost for 3 weeks of doggy boot camp (professional dog training and boarding) ranges from $2100 to $2500, depending on how much post-boot camp follow up you'd like. We've had one touch-up class and that was all we needed.

The awesome thing is that the doggy boot camp takes care of 80 percent of the issues, so you only need to figure out the remaining 20 percent, and they even have a vet for emergencies, they are always looking out for a dog shaking his head too much or other uncommon behavior. Not feeling overly confident about the ability to ever really be able to call Hashtag and actually have him come, this fact was very reassuring to me. Our touch-up session really helped me see that. In only a month, Hashtag has started listening to me and we even went on a walk and for a ride in the car together alone, which is major progress.

In short... While our family was enjoying our European adventure, Hashtag was enjoying spending time playing with other dogs and getting one-on-one attention from his trainers. He came back to us in better shape and more obedient. We were not only able to breathe easier while we were on vacation, but we have enjoyed him so much more since being back.

Doggy Boot Camp in Salt Lake City

If you are in Salt Lake City and are planning an upcoming trip or would like to take advantage of obedience training for your dog, I highly recommend giving Ty a call. You can find all of his information on by clicking here on his website. And if you are in need of a service dog or know someone that is, ask him about the many programs he offers in that area. This guy is a genius!

Have you ever had to figure out what to do with your dog when you travel? What are your recommendations or your tips?

Disclosure: We received a doggy boot camp discount in exchange for this post. Opinions are my own!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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