•  Hi all doodle lovers! I hope I'm posting this in the right place. We have 2 doodles, our spoiled babies. We went on a 14 day cruise last fall and our daughter stayed at our house with them while we were gone. I felt so guilty and I missed them! The more anxious one was very clingy to me for a long time after we got home. We now have another opportunity to take another trip that will also be 2 weeks. I'm having a hard time committing to it because I feel guilty already. Am I worried about nothing or should we not leave them for that long? They would be with a family member. Thanks for your advice!

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  • I don't think of leaving dogs in a home environment with family members as "boarding" them, but there is no question that dogs are more anxious and unhappy when their people are gone for any length of time. I personally don't travel and have never left a dog for more than a few days, but I don't think that anyone would tell you not to take a trip you want to take because of guilt over leaving your dogs. If they are together in their own home environment, it will likely not be terribly traumatic, especially since they have been through this before and saw that you did come home, lol. They will get over whatever stress your absence causes them. :) 

  • I would probably "feel" guilty too but I don't think you actually are guilty of anything.  They will be okay even if clingy for a bit when you return.  

  • We don't travel much because we don't really have any family members to leave our dog with anymore and boarding makes us uncomfortable.  We have friends though that have boarding places (generally peoples' homes) that they have used and they trust and their dogs have been just fine.  If we want to take a vacation we may end up using some of those places our friends have used successfully.

    We feel guilty for leaving our pets but they usually do just fine without us even if they miss us for the first couple days.

  • I think this is one of those questions whose answers will vary widely depending on who you ask. I don't like to be away from the dogs. Katie is almost 5 1/2 and she's never been boarded. I left her with my mom for a couple days when I went to Halloween in New Orleans. And Maggie and Katie had a pet sitter come over one night when I went to a concert in the Ozarks. I was gone less than 24 hours. Other than that I haven't been away from them. But I know people who routinely travel and/or travel for work and their dogs are either boarded or at a sitter literally half the time, and they seem well adjusted and fine. On the other end of the spectrum there are people who think you shouldn't be able to have dogs if you work. I would love to be a stay at home dog mom, but so far I can't find anyone to give me all their money. 

    Someone at the kennel club told me that my dogs don't have separation anxiety, but I do. And that's not an exaggeration. But if I had an opportunity to take an amazing trip I would still find somewhere safe and fabulous for the dogs, and go. I don't think anyone can be expected to live their life *only* for the dogs. Even parents sometimes leave their human kids home. And I think that we have a harder time with it than the dogs do. You're not leaving them tied to a tree in the back yard. They'll be okay. I don't think you need to feel guilty at all.

  • I know how you feel. My husband and I went on a cruise and I hated leaving our Doodle-child, even though it was with family in our home. We had only had our Doodle for a couple of months when we decided to go on that cruise. Well, to keep my Doodle from stressing (as well as me), I had my son set up a time when we could FaceTime on our iPhones, or iPad. We had stops in ports each day, so we were able to set a schedule that worked for both of us. Anyway, we did the Facetime thing and that was a life saver, our Doodle responded happily to our sessions. So, perhaps you could try something like that to keep you Doodles from stressing too much. Just hearing us call our Doodles name via Facetime, kept our pet happy, and both my hubby and me happy! 

  • I really don't think it is as hard on the dog as it is on us, especially in the setup that you have. It's easy for me to slip into that guilty feeling though too. The most I have left Gavin at his dog sitter is 11 days and I have done that three times now. I do some reframing and tell myself it's good for him to have a holiday from us with some new adventures with different people. It helps that the sitter sends me pics and updates a couple of times, recounting Gavin's good times with her cats. This was from our  last trip in November. 3801277774?profile=RESIZE_710x

  • We mostly are able to take our dogs with us since we have an RV. However one of our retirement bucket list items is touring on our motorcycle. We've been lucky enough to have a family member stay at the house. That's not boarding, that's babysitting! LOL. We always miss our pets but special trips shouldn't be skipped. Figure out what you can do to have your dogs safely cared for, but don't miss your trip. 

  • I'm sure they sense your absence and may experience some stress from it, however, that's not to say it isn't normal or healthy or totally tolerable. Them being together, in their own home with a family member is as good as it gets for leaving them, I feel. We don't leave ours often either, but they stay with my daughter and her doodles, or with a friend who owns my eldest doodles' brother. The anxious one will be besides himself when we come back home. You can tell he was very "worried", but he settles right down. My girl usually has diarrhea for a day or so afterwards so even though she appears happy and silly when we pick her up, she obviously has some stress over the situation. But I know they are safe and loved and well cared for so nothing at all to feel guilty about.

    I always miss them, but never feel guilty. We all have a life outside of being dog owners. I say GO and have a great time and be very grateful you have such an ideal situation for your doggie care.


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