F.I.D.O.: Not traveling with your dog.

Forget it. I've decided not to bring my dog. Any tips for boarding?

If you've decided to board your dog at a kennel, here are a few tips for finding a place you can trust. Our best advice, though, is this: Would you mind staying there? In other words, would you get decent food and water, fresh air, attention and a clean place to hang out? Do the people working there seem like folks you'd like to hang out with? If you're unsure about the answers to any of these questions, don't hesitate to ask for a tour.

Also, know your dog. Some places allow other dogs to play together -- which is great for some dogs, and not so great for others. Be sure to let the boarding facility know of your dog's quirks and any special needs.

If you have no idea where to start, ask your local vet, or check with friends or relatives for a recommendation.

Don't forget, you'll need to make sure your dog has current vaccinations, including rabies and kennel cough.

And, if you're near Our Fair City, we'd highly recommend Lexington Heights Animal Boarding. In fact, Tommy's there right now.

For more information:
HSUS: Choosing a Boarding Kennel

What's the deal with Pet Sitters?

If you experience pangs of guilt at the thought of boarding your dog while you're on the road, consider hiring a pet sitter. There are lots of advantages for both you and your dog. Your dog gets to keep his usual routine of destroying his favorite furniture and peeing on your best Persian rug. And he doesn't have to face the prospect of a 100-pound Pit Bull eyeing him from the next cage over. You get the comfort of knowing your house is safe, and your dog isn't filing a canine rights grievance with Amnesty International. Finally, you'll stop annoying your neighbors with your frequent requests to check on your dog.


Pet sitters can also bring in mail, water plants, and answer the phone. Of course, this means they can also read your mail, dress up in your underwear and invite their favorite heavy metal band over for a jam session. So, it's important to hire someone you trust.

Check with friends, neighbors or your local vet. If you strike out on that front, there are actually two organizations that will help you find someone: the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International. Amazing, huh? There's an organization for everything these days. Two, in fact.

For more information:
HSUS: Choose a Pet Sitter