We recently planned a two-week vacation, and while we were very excited to get away, there was one big concern: what would we do with our beloved puppy Brewster while we were gone for so long? We checked out a couple boarding facilities, but couldn’t stomach the idea of leaving our fur baby in a strange place with strange people, where he wouldn’t get nearly as much personal attention as he’s used to. At the same time, we couldn’t afford to leave him with our trusted dog walker at $85 per day. We also couldn’t leave him with any friends who work full time and don’t own dogs of their own, because he would need walks and playtime with other dogs during the weekdays. And frankly, we’d be nervous about leaving him with anyone who didn’t have a dog of their own and might not know enough about taking care of a puppy.
We had recently started doing some short-term dog swaps with two of our friends who also own Daisy Dogs, and although we’d only ever sat for each other’s pups for a day or a weekend at a time, they generously offered to take Brewster for the whole two weeks we’d be gone. In return, we agreed to take their dogs when they would be away later in the summer, which felt like a nice give and take. They worked out Brewster’s schedule between them, and the friend who took him on weekdays had been thinking about starting her dog at a new daycare facility near her work, so she just took Brewster along too. It was even a benefit for her to have Brewster at that time to help transition her more sensitive pup to the new facility: he got to start out with a friend for the first two weeks while he got used to the place, which made him more comfortable going on his own after that.
It was so reassuring to know that our pup was in such good hands while we were away (and that we didn’t have to go broke to make that happen). Not only do these two friends have first-hand knowledge on how to take care of a puppy, but Brewster also had a buddy to play with and keep him company the whole time he was away from home. He even had a minor health issue while we were gone, which our friends handled with the vet and kept an eye on until he got all better. And of course, the photo updates our friends sent every few days kept us going until we were able to see our little guy again.
So if you have any friends with dogs who are up for trying dog swaps, this is a great and cost-effective way to be able to leave your dog when you go out of town. It will save you a ton of money, your baby will be in good hands, and — despite forming a nice attachment with your friend — they will still be incredibly excited to see you when you return home.