Have you ever considered using a Dog Sitter? Home-boarding for your best friend when you are on holiday or away for business? Researching the options makes interesting reading.
When Barney was little (my Cocker Spaniel) he used to go to a Doggy Day Care Centre when I had appts all day. He loved it. He attended both Happi Days & The Suffolk Canine Creche, both of which are local to me and he really enjoyed himself.
He was a bouncy boy and as such he was best suited to morning sessions rather than afternoon. I was told that his barrelling into play at 1pm, after lunch - just as the dogs are setting down for an afternoon nap wasn’t conducive to an harmonic atmosphere in the centre - wow, they take this so seriously.
The days he spent at the centre weren’t regular, painting my dog portraits in my studio day to day, he spends his day with me, walk first, painting second - not a bad life at all.
So his days at the centres were really up to about the age of 3, when he needed imput and to be around other dogs.
Then something happened around the age of three. On one of our usual walks, he met a black labrador. They greeted as usual and the lab jumped and snarled. Not the owners fault but somehow this exchange changed Barney.
From that moment onward he is shy of other bigger dogs. He isn’t aggressive, just very wary. Once he knows them, he is absolutely fine but when meeting a black lab on a walk, Barney’s ears go down and he stays stock still, waiting for it to pass.
Now nearly 6, Barney is happy and content with me each day and happy to spend time apart when exercised, his separation anxiety is fine for up to 4 hours - I wouldn’t want to leave him for longer as a: it’s not advised and b: he may well need a wee!
But what happens if we go away? Well, we are lucky to have family nearby. He once stayed with ‘Pampered Pets’ a dog hotel nearby which was a great success, but now that he is older and it’s not regular for him to be with a number other dogs, I think he may well struggle.
So, should the need arise for us as a family to spend 2 weeks away on a Caribbean Island (no sense in aiming low) and our extended family happened to be away - what would we do with him?
I’ve been doing some researching, speaking with agencies that organise holiday care and quite frankly I’m impressed with the level of service.
There are uber levels - posh pet hotel with concierge services - these are a little high and unnecessary for Barney as that’s not usual in his life (much as am sure he would go for it willingly) Not to mention expensive.
Dog Creche Services that run to overnight care in single bedrooms complete with beds are an option, though again, am not sure this is for Barney. Another option is family care where Barney could stay with another family for the duration and the final option is a basic kennel option - am sure he would find this stressful.
So family care looks appealing.
A stay with another family, perhaps with children and either 1 or 2 other dogs, is absolutely the best option for Barney.
This option seems to be around £35 - £50 per 24hrs.
Sadly we aren’t actually off the Caribbean but if we were, I know the best option for Barney and in truth, am considering offering this service, family care myself - we would LOVE to have other dogs join our family for short periods, although our dog-visitor may well end up on a canvas!
Sam is a practicing artist of 25yrs with a deep love of dogs. Her drawings, paintings and prints are exhibited in galleries throughout the country. In 2017 she painted her dog Barney and clients began to ask for bespoke portraits of their own best friends. Since then, Sam has successfully painted over 60 personalised commissions and sends her dog paintings all over the world.
She has a stand-alone testimonial page on Trustpilot and is proud to support canine charities too.
To talk about having your own dog painted or to give as a gift, email Sam on firstname.lastname@example.org today.