Vacation Home or Kennel?

When I’m staying in a rental home at the coast, where is the best place for my dog, “Riley,” to stay: the rental home or a kennel close by? — Todd Y., Neotsu, Ore.

If you’re bringing your dog on vacation with you (which is fantastic, by the way), he should stay with you if at all possible. A kennel tends to be a stressful place for dogs, even if you come to pick him up every day. If you’re vacationing in an unfamiliar place, you may not know how well the kennel is run, if the dogs that stay there are kept healthy and happy, and if illnesses like kennel cough are kept to a minimum. Riley will benefit from his owner being with him in an unfamiliar place, particularly at night. So, Riley should stay with you. If you’re bringing him on vacation, he should experience the vacation with you. A caveat, however: always get clearance from the rental home’s owner before bringing a pet. Vacation-rental agreements often stipulate that no pets are allowed in the house. This happens, sadly, because not all pet owners control their pets, and damage can be done to the rental property. Many rentals that allow pets will charge an extra fee, sometimes per pet, to cover any potential damages. The fee is usually nonrefundable — but in my experience it’s much cheaper than the cost of keeping your pet in a reputable kennel. If the vacation rental you’re considering does not allow pets, look for another house in the area. Several sites on the Internet list pet-friendly rentals, including (; (; and (

Send your questions or comments to, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit © 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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