You’re looking forward to visiting your friends and family or that faraway destination you’ve always wanted to travel to. There’s just one thing on your mind: What should you do with your beloved pup?

Travel tends to stress out your four-legged friend, whether that means sitting in the backseat of a cramped car for hours on end or being cooped up in a crate that’s been hoisted into the cargo hold of an airplane. Nope, that’s no good for their canine sensibilities. They’ll often have to stay home, but that’s not as bad as it seems.

There are plenty of options available for caring for your pet while you’re out of town.

Ask a Friend to Help

You may know somebody who can take good care of pups. They may be willing to stop by two or three times a day to make sure yours is well-fed and has plenty of water to wash down the kibble. Of course, a walk around the block or some playtime in the yard would make the day just about complete.

Make sure you leave careful instructions on any special needs your dog has, especially when it comes to medication. Ensure their safety by keeping chemicals and cleaning supplies out of reach, removing small objects from the floor, and securing heavy furniture.

Leave Them With a Neighbor

There’s sure to be more than a few people in the area who would be willing to take in your good boy for a few days for a fee, and some may even do it for free. To make your pup feel less anxious when you drop them off, keep the goodbye brief, and be sure to put an old T-shirt filled with your scent in their cage so they have a little reminder of their favorite human. It helps more than you know.

Contact a Pet Sitter

They have the enviable task of staying in people’s houses and taking care of their dogs, or visiting a few times a day. It’s easy to find a sitter online, though you should ask them some questions about their experience before leaving your pup in their hands. In case of emergency, give the sitter the contact details of your vet.

Find Boarding

You have the option of boarding your pooch in a cozy, private home where they’ll stay with other dogs, which is great for socializing and making new friends. Here, your pup will get all the attention they need, plus some walks and maybe even a trip to the dog park, according to a writer with PetMD. There may even be a swimming pool on site to splash around in. Check for one that has a solid background check and positive reviews from previous clients.

Take Them to the Kennel

This could seem a bit old-fashioned, but may be the best option if you’re in a pinch and can’t find an affordable sitter or boarding house. Staff are generally well-trained to spot any health problems that may arise during your pup’s stay, say the experts at PetFinder, which should give you some peace of mind while you’re away. Your vet should be able to recommend a good one in your area, so give them a call.

Check In at a Pet Hotel

You’ll have to shell out for one of these, but your pup will be pampered properly like a prince or princess. There’s even one in New York City that offers specially-cooked meals, flat screen televisions, treadmills and yoga. That may be nicer than any hotel you’ve ever stayed in yourself.

If you make a wise choice for your dog, they won’t even be upset when you get back. And if they are? Well, just have a present ready. That’ll get their tail wagging again!

Capture cherished memories with professional pet photography from Shutter Hound Pet Photography!

Thank you to Cindy Aldridge of Our Dog Friends for this guest post!