Dog Walking, Dog Sitting, Dog Overnight Care

Providing service to the communities of:
Cloverdale, Clayton Heights, Panorama Ridge, Yorkson, & Willoughby

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After thirteen years of being self-employed as a dog trainer, I’ve gotten used to the seasonal fluctuations of owning a business, many of which are completely unforeseeable even after all this time. However, there are some things that are always predictable, and one of those are the hysterical phone calls we inevitably receive just prior to busy travel times such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, spring break and summer vacations.

“I can’t find somewhere for my dog!” the people cry, lamenting the fact that they’re leaving in one week and all of the kennels are booked solid. “I’ve called every place in the phone book, my vet, even other vets and can’t find anyone who can take my pet!”

This can be a huge problem to say the least. Obviously you can’t simply go out of town and expect your dog to prepare his own meals and take himself for walks. Over the years I have witnessed people cancelling their vacations, taking their dog with them or having one family member stay home because they didn’t plan far enough ahead in making reservations for their pet’s care.

According to Beth Ann Stearns, owner of Country Gardens Bed and Biscuit Pet Resort in Fuquay-Varina, “We are often completely filled weeks in advance of big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and July 4th. Even weekends like President’s Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day fill up fast.” She said she always encourages people to make their reservations as soon as they know they’re going on a trip, just to make sure she will definitely have a spot for their pet. “I always feel so badly when people call and we’re all booked up, especially when they’re my regular customers,” she said.

Another dilemma occurs when people usually have a trustworthy neighbour or family member who takes care of their pet when they’re away. For the most part, this works great because you feel good about the person taking care of your dog, your dog knows and likes the person and it’s free. But inevitably the day will come that your neighbour will be away the same time you are or your family member is going on the trip with you. It’s important to plan well in advance of your trip and always have a place in mind where you would want your pet to stay if those other arrangements were to fall through.

Most reputable boarding facilities will welcome you to come for a tour. They will be happy to show you where your pet will be staying and will describe for you what a typical day will be like while he’s there (meal times, rest times, play times, etc.). When you go for your tour, some things to look for include a friendly staff that seem to genuinely enjoy the pets, a clean environment, an organized way your pet’s supplies will be kept during their stay and a general feeling of well-being. Don’t be put off if tours are only allowed during limited hours… it’s not likely that they’re “hiding” anything. More likely is that they don’t want to get the dogs currently boarding all “riled up” with visitors walking through during quiet time, or they don’t want you to just show up during drop off/pick up time because they won’t have the time to give you a tour during those hours.

Without question, making reservations well in advance of your trip is another aspect in making sure you end up having a fun, stress-free vacation!