If you plan on traveling for the holidays and aren’t able to bring your canine companion along for the ride, we have some tips on finding the right care for your pup while you are gone. Don’t limit the possibilities. There are more than just kennels and vet’s offices from which to choose. Many cities now have doggies day cares and professional dog-sitters for your pet. Make sure the one you are considering caters to your dog. If you have a Yorkshire Terrier pup, do they have Yorkies there? If you have an Akita, do they cater to Akitas? Get recommendations from people you trust. Ask your friends, neighbors, vets and groomers. Decide on a few recommended facilities and go check them out. Visit the facility and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask to see where your dog will be staying/playing. How do they handle discipline? How much exercise is allotted daily? Make a list of your important questions prior to your visit so you remember to cover all your concerns. If you still aren’t sure, ask to be a silent observer for a while. Silently observing will let you see how the staff interacts with the animals and how they police play time. Check the facility’s requirements and credentials. Reputable facilities will require your pup is current on vaccinations. This is to protect your pet as well as the other temporary tenants. If your state requires inspections for boarding kennels, verify that their license or certificate is displayed and current. Prepare ahead of time. Kennels can often book up weeks in advance of major holidays. Plan ahead so you can be sure your pet has a reserved spot. Make sure the facility knows about any special needs, including medical conditions, your dog may have. Most importantly, trust your instincts. You want to feel confident that your pet is safe and happy while you are away. If you second guess yourself at a facility, consider your other options.