So you're hittin' the road for the holidays and have reserved Sparky a nice, comfy room at the local doggie hotel. Here are a few quick tips to make sure he has as happy a holiday as you do:
1) Make sure he's up to date on his vaccinations. If you haven't, consider getting a Bordetella vaccine: this helps prevent kennel cough, a common virus that dogs in close quarters are susceptible to. It's usually not serious, but if you get the flu shot, why not give your pup the benefit of a similar vaccine? Nobody likes to get sick!
2) If you can, bring your dog to visit the boarding facility before your trip so he can become familiar with it. Even having him spend a night or two there will help him learn that you always come back! If you don't have the dough for that, a few short visits can help a lot.
3) Ask the kennel what they're doing to prevent canine parvovirus. They should be using an approved sanitizer for keeping the kennels germ-free. You can also ask your vet about a vaccine. It's yucky, trust us: you don't want to have to deal with it.
4) Don't get all weepy emotional, dude. Don't make it weird-- mostly because your dog picks up on all your emotions and you can stress him out by being anxious or sad. Keep it light, happy, and brief!
5) Enjoy your trip! He'll be so psyched to see you when you return...
Oh, and if you do decide to bring Sparky with you on your travels, check out petswelcome.com and plan your route alongside dog-friendly hotels! You'll thank us for it, when you're not having to drive 30 miles out of the way at 11 PM, trying to find a place that will allow your dog. Ain't nobody got time for that...