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Leaving dog home question

vwzoo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I do not have a dog. I will have one some day. I would not consider taking my dog to the Camino: Both you and your dog will face challenges, IMHO.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Border collies need a lot of exercise. A kennel may not be able to provide this or charge a lot more for it. During Covid a lot of people fostered (not adopted) dogs for shelters. If you don't have a friend to watch the dog you may be able to find a kind soul that would like a parttime dog (maybe they like dogs but also lots of international travel). Ask around at shelters and pounds.

And @vwzoo, though you aren't thinking of it, let me say to others "Please don't take your dog on a camino."
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Have a friend who has a North Carolina Plott Hound. She's an anthropologist who has to do fieldwork overseas each year in the research-term. Anywhere from 6-10 weeks she goes away, and not having friends to rely on in the new town she moved to for work, she has chosen to use a reliable boarding service. Dog loves it.... has friends to play with everyday. She checks in via Wifi camera when she can connect (not often from her field sites).
I have cats. We get house-sitters for them.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
My dogs hate boarding, I get a house/dog sitter so that I can leave them in an environment that they feel comfortable in. I've been lucky in that one of our local vet nurses used to house sit and worked out great for us as she loved them and was also able to give them medications. One needs tablets, the other a regular injection. It was cheaper than boarding them, and she knew the dogs well beforehand. They liked her and our location was only 5 minutes away from her mother and her workplace.
One day, several months after our return last year, I was walking on the beach with my dog when a women called out - she thought she recognised the dog. Turns out that she was the mother of Sophie our dog minder , and while we were away she had walked with Sophie and our dogs. She showed me the photos she had taken off them, it was nice to think they had a good time while we were away.

A place to start is your local vet, our vet clinic had a number of brochures of pet/house minding people.
 
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Bala

Veteran member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
A good resource might be to Google American Border Collie Association or National Border Collie and see if you can find a border collie club or breeder near you to contact. They may know people in your area who do house sitting, fostering, boarding, etc., specific for your breed, and they will have your pet's welfare as a priority. Good luck and smart of you to start planning well in advance.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
In 2016 we adopted an abused rescue dog from the county shelter- a high strung mixed terrier. He had been returned to the rescue center before we got him and had occasional seizures. We named him Grazi, short for “Grazia” reminder of how grateful we are to have him. Unfortunately, we cannot leave him with a family member or friend, or sitter because he is too wired and would bite if not handled correctly. When we got him, we knew we would have to make kennel arrangements for him if we traveled. Now, we limit our camino to one month away at a time because Grazi does not do well for longer periods In a kennel..

We shopped around for the best Kennel for his needs....which was a kennel that was very clean, organized, almost odorless, structured, with a large indoor-outdoor run, that lets the dogs out in the fenced-in play area to play and run when they clean the runs daily. Our dog does not like big or aggressive small dogs, so he needs to go out alone. We bring his own food to the kennel, which they allow. Therefore, his diet does not change. He has emergency medication, which they will administer if necessary. In addition, we pay extra for a play/qualitytime for him for one-on-one with a staff person. He needs affection while we are gone.

He is not thrilled about the Kennel, but his life is very good with us ❤️so that is the trade off! Of course, we always feel bad when we leave him and do communicate with the Kennel every few days while away to find out how he is doing.

Sometimes when you board for longer periods of time, some kennels will give you a discount. And, if overseas, bringing your dog would likely cost you as much or more to take him. We would never take a dog on a camino. Dogs need routine and consistency. The whole scene would be too hard on him.

Shop around. We visited 10 kennels. None in our immediate vicinity fit the bill. But we found one 45 miles from our home that works well for us. We drop him off the day before we fly and they deliver him to our house two hours after we get home! Always a happy time.
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
I don't have a dog, but a cat.
For two of my caminos, I was lucky enough to find people willing to house sit for me, so they looked after the cat and also the apartment. Once it was a friend who was renovating her apartment - she was thrilled to have a place to stay and a fluffy company while most of the renovations lasted.

My Camino Lebaniego was short (just a week in Spain), so I paid a cat sitter to come and visit my cat every day (around $20/day). He has cat sitted for me before in other short trips, so we trust leaving him access the place. He also sent Whatsapp messages every other day with photos to show everything was fine. :)
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?

I do have a dog - as is obvious enough from my username. I wanted a dog all of my adult life, but could only commit to one when I retired from work. Henry can be a constraint, sometimes - but for the vast majority of the time he is truly life-enhancing.

Options:

Reciprocal care with another dog owner.

Ship the dog to your daughter’s new address for her to make good on her offer.

Start saving. It’s part of the cost of dog ownership.

Non-options:

Take the dog on Camino. I know it’s been done, but it’s not really sensible.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
A friend and fellow pilgrim never wanted a dog. Her son in law was on a long tour of duty in Afghanistan so her daughter bought a border collie for company.
When the son in law came home they went off on holiday for three weeks while my friend pet-sat.
On their return the dog didn't want to go home.
My friend has had a border collie for eight years now.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@vwzoo we had a border collie we loved and she reacted very badly to a stay in boarding kennels; came out very nervous of people other than the family, and would snap unexpectedly if someone unfamiliar bent over to pat her. It was completely out of character for her. So, apart from the expense, I'd be wary of where you place your border. They need space and lots of purposeful exercise. We found the perfect solution in a family who lived on a farm with a dam and were happy to take our dog. She loved swimming in the dam, she would get filthy and muddy, with matted fur, but obviously happy.

The other options I've heard of are dog walkers who come to your house once a day, take the dog out to an off leash area for a run and a play, and then feed the dog on return to the house.

Or a house sitter who likes and is experienced with dogs. If you belong to any local Facebook groups it is pretty easy to find someone reliable who does this on a regular basis. They save on rent, you get your house and dog looked after.
 
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Deleted member 76633

Guest
My dogs hate boarding, I get a house/dog sitter so that I can leave them in an environment that they feel comfortable in.

Very likely most dogs will react to the disruption in an adverse way. This is especially true of a collie which is essentially a working dog and needs worked.

The house sitter is a good idea but they would need to be committed to regular exercising. Not working a working dog may cost you a new sofa or some new furniture. If they are not exercised, they will exercise themselves.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I’m not sure where you live but being a dog owner myself I commiserate with you. I’ve been very fortunate while living in Slovakia to have a wonderful sitter on a farm. My dog always returned skinny from so much running while I walked. I am now in Ottawa. I think a fellow pilgrim dog care exchange arrangement might be good. Let me know where you are and when you plan to walk. BTW my guy is 12, I’ve flown him overseas and back maybe 6-7 times and his jet lag is quite noticeable. I would NOT take my dog in the Camino because sleeping arrangements are not easy (most albergues put you in the outdoor bike room) plus despite taking long dog walks a day of 20-25km on the Camino is too demanding for a dog. PM me.
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
If possible, I suggest that you start using a local dog walker on a regular basis, one or two days a week. Check that she (it’s usually a she) also boards dogs (many do) for periods. After a few weeks of walks with her you’ll find that she is now the new love of your dog’s life and leaving him with her for Camino treks will not be an issue. It’s not a cheap option but it’s ideal for your dog.
 

Sheila Kenny

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances (2002), (2012), (2013) C. Portuguese (2015)
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
Not sure where you are living but I may be able to dog/house sit for you if you would like. Although I reside mostly in Oz, I belong to a global organisation called 'Trusted House/Pet sitters'. You could always check them out.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
We have a reciprocal arrangements with friends. Our dogs stay there when we go away and their dogs come to us. It works brilliantly, the dogs are happy together and the only cost is the dog food. When we both had more dogs, there would often be seven for dinner
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
"Curious George" is the fifth beagle we've owned since we married 38+ years ago. We would never consider boarding our beagle due to an incident that happened a long time ago at a kennel. We returned from vacation and our beagle had a bad back injury, which we are sure happened at the kennel.

For our three past caminos, we've had family live in our home and take care of our beagle pets. First time our adult son still lived at home. He let her out in the morning and when he got home. We paid a dog walker to come once or twice a day to let her out and/or take her for a walk. For the last two caminos, my mother in law moved into our home (she lives nearby) and she took fabulous care of Pepper.

We are planning to hike our fourth camino this Sept-Oct and will ask my mother in law to watch George. He still has lots of puppy energy (born last May). We'll have a dog walking service walk him once or twice a day, then my mother in law can feed him, let him outside (we have Invisible Fence) and keep him company. My mother in law is 87 years old, so this may be the last time we ask her to watch our beagle. Hopefully we'll continue walking the camino years to come and we will need to evaluate who watches George.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
My dogs hate boarding, I get a house/dog sitter so that I can leave them in an environment that they feel comfortable in. I've been lucky in that one of our local vet nurses used to house sit and worked out great for us as she loved them and was also able to give them medications. One needs tablets, the other a regular injection. It was cheaper than boarding them, and she knew the dogs well beforehand. They liked her and our location was only 5 minutes away from her mother and her workplace.
One day, several months after our return last year, I was walking on the beach with my dog when a women called out - she thought she recognised the dog. Turns out that she was the mother of Sophie our dog minder , and while we were away she had walked with Sophie and our dogs. She showed me the photos she had taken off them, it was nice to think they had a good time while we were away.

A place to start is your local vet, our vet clinic had a number of brochures of pet/house minding people.
How cheap, since you mentioned it?
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
How cheap, since you mentioned it?
Im not sure how much others charge, there are companies set up for this type of thing. We just preferred to go with someone we already knew and our dogs liked, and they have some minor health issues that need to be dealt with as well.
Sophie's rate was $250 a week, so it was $1000 overall plus their food. She walked them regularly as well, and took care of the house.
I was living far from my family last time, we have moved back up north now, so I would try for family next time.
 

Marla in CA

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 15, 2019
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
Yes, vwzoo, I have experience. I walked the Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2019. I have 2 dogs. I was gone for 5 weeks. A friend of mine in my local hiking group suggested a website, Trustedhousesitters.com. You pay about $99 for the year to belong. You do not pay them a dime for watching your pets and house. Likewise, they do not pay rent. You post a profile and thousands of applicants from all over the world who have also paid $99 see it. They apply for the job. You call, skype, facetime, in person interview. I was skeptical at first because I didn't know if I felt comfortable having a stranger in my home. She sent me daily texts and pictures of the dogs. Since I got back over a year ago, we have become friends, and she recently moved near me. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together last year!!!!! Check out the website, read up on it and see if it is for you. Incidentally, I chose my trusted housesitter out of 46 applicants before I had to shut if off, because so many people were interested!
 

Kaleo

Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Year of past OR future Camino
Planned for 2018
I’m not sure where you live but being a dog owner myself I commiserate with you. I’ve been very fortunate while living in Slovakia to have a wonderful sitter on a farm. My dog always returned skinny from so much running while I walked. I am now in Ottawa. I think a fellow pilgrim dog care exchange arrangement might be good. Let me know where you are and when you plan to walk. BTW my guy is 12, I’ve flown him overseas and back maybe 6-7 times and his jet lag is quite noticeable. I would NOT take my dog in the Camino because sleeping arrangements are not easy (most albergues put you in the outdoor bike room) plus despite taking long dog walks a day of 20-25km on the Camino is too demanding for a dog. PM me.
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
The Livestock Guardian Dogs on the route may be aggressive or at least try to chase your dog off the trail. The LGDs that I encountered were neutral or friendly to people, but did not welcome other dogs. Do you think your pup would try to herd livestock?

Also, in the U.S. there are services where a driver will take your dog in a car to your daughter's location. Better option than "shipping". Personally, I would never put my dog in the baggage compartment of an airplane.
 

Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Before leaving on each of the two Camino's we have done so far, we found a housesitter to look after our dog while living in our home.
Our first Camino housesitters were wonderful and the second Camino housesitters, were OK but they were rarely home as we later learned and our dog spent a lot of time by himself.
I would much prefer to leave my dog with a trusted friend or relative but that is sometimes hard to do for a long period of time.
If you do go the housesitter route, be sure to check any references provided by the proposed sitter.
Having said that, taking a dog on the Camino is, in my opinion, not a viable option - it would be hard on the dog and its feet, especially so in cold or hot weather, some stock protecting dogs you see along the Camino don't look very gentle and finding somewhere to stay with a dog may cause difficulties.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago.
2020 May or end of September - NO!
2021 ?
I just retired as a professional pet sitter. Two organizations you can check into are:
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters ... www.petsitters.org
Pet Sitters international.... www.petsit.com
Both list pet sitters by zip code and what they will cover and usually what they charge.
I am not a big fan of boarding kennels and as many have said - I would not take my dog on a Camino.
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Some very good suggestions above about how to find a dog / house sitter and this is certainly a preferred option then kennel for long periods.

We've always been lucky in that the dogs stay on the farm with people they know whenever we travelled, and I look after my daughters energetic border collie cross whenever she needs me to.

I would recommend that you have your dog spend time with any prospective care person before you go. As this means they know what they are in for and that the dog is used to them and will follow their commands etc. It also means the dog know that even if you go away, you will come back.

I once looked after a friends pet, unfortunately the young dog had been through a number of owners and had not been trained, lovely energetic dog but easily distracted and took off at one point and got run over. Horrific, and I have never got over the guilt, in part I think because it was not long after Scott had died. My friends were very understanding, a few years later made sure that their new dog is well socialised with me and my dogs. I am about to look after their much loved dog this weekend. It's quiet a responsibility but this dog knows me and will come when called and accepts me as its temporary boss. Even though I do use the cage more then I normally would. I am also grateful that my friends trust me and don't blame me for the earlier accident.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
This is off the main subject but I'm posting this because it may help some dog lover reading this thread. We took care of a friend's dog for months while she resettled in the Netherlands. We shipped the dog to her by air from the US but there a lot of requirements. It had to be a time of good weather, a veterinarian needed to give a certified health report (and the vet needed to be certified for this also), a kennel of approved size for the dog had to be supplied, there was timing involved with all this too. So, if you are thinking about doing this look into the requirements early on.
 

snowwhite1962

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Oct/Nov 2017
Camino Portuguese Sept/Oct 2019
I walked the Camino in 2017 and came across several people walking with dogs and they said it limited the places they could stay. I'm not sure what type of accommodation they were staying in but maybe it's worth making enquiries. I would love to bring a dog on the Camino but the quarantine restrictions getting it back into Australia would be too prohibitive and that's also something to look into depending on where you are from.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Better option than "shipping". Personally, I would never put my dog in the baggage compartment of an airplane.
To clarify, I was not suggesting that the OP stick some stamps on the dog and post him/her. Rather that the previous offer of dog-minding might still be taken up even if the dog had to travel to the minder. I am aware that distances in the states can be considerable.
 

marggie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Have a friend who has a North Carolina Plott Hound. She's an anthropologist who has to do fieldwork overseas each year in the research-term. Anywhere from 6-10 weeks she goes away, and not having friends to rely on in the new town she moved to for work, she has chosen to use a reliable boarding service. Dog loves it.... has friends to play with everyday. She checks in via Wifi camera when she can connect (not often from her field sites).
I have cats. We get house-sitters for them.
I always use house sitters,they are great,especially if they are animal lovers ,but have only had them for a month at a time .. But that’s a good way to go ..
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I walked the Camino in 2017 and came across several people walking with dogs and they said it limited the places they could stay.
Most albergues will not allow pets/dogs. Many reasons for that. F.ex. I am allergic to dog/cat hair, and would have to move out. Also hygiene: A dog may be well groomed at home, but the Camino is a vastly different environment. Also, you have to take into account whether your dog's paws/stamina can handle 20-25 kms/day for 20-35 days on paths of asphalt/bedrock/dirtpaths in the heat of Spain in summer months.

The dogs living along the Caminos are mostly farm/herding dogs. They're used to pilgrims and will (mostly) ignore them, but stranger dogs are a different issue. They can behave VERY protective against them. Just saying.
 
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Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
In the UK we have "dog sitters" who have your dog to stay with them in their homes, they may or may not have dogs of their own. This can work very well and is cheaper than kennels. BUT be very careful to get to know them first and make sure they are OK, when we first tried this our dog came back with bites and kennel cough, when I mentioned to the veterinarian where she had been it was clear that the individual was " known" to them and not in a good way. Friends can be good and we are lucky enough now to have granddaughters fighting for the honour. Good Luck.
 

LSBPDX

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2019)
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
I walked in spring of 2019 and expected to have to leave my dog at home with my husband. Alas, we had to put her down just days before I left.
We just got a new puppy - after she's done teething and learns her manners, I am going to attempt to create a dog-sitting co-op. I would be happy to watch someone's dog in my home for a while if they would do the same. Try looking in your community for others (maybe who've walked the camino?) who don't have a dog but would like one. Retirees should be able to share pets!
 

vwzoo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
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I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
I really appreciate all of the ideas. I have some time to set things up, save up cash if I board etc. I was thinking as I was walking today that I love the little guy and don't regret getting him in any way, and I would worry about him, but not going I would sort of resent having him, so I will have to work through this. The Camino constantly calls to me. Thanks again everyone.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de France: start on 5/14/2019
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
I walked the Camino Frances in 2019. In the beginning, there were several Peregrinos with dogs and with children that I observed on the trail. About 1/4 of the way, I saw no one with dogs or children thereafter. That should tell you something...
 
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Owen Duguay

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Le Puy to SJPP to Santiago de Compostelle to Finisterre. Environ 1700 km.
I have a dog Héra 73 pounds of Lab. The first time I walked Le Puy I left her at home and her anxiety got so bad my wife had to take her to the vet. The pills did not work so the vet told my wife to put the dog in a boarding kennel in order for her to be with other dogs. Problem solved. On my next camino Portugais I did not hesitate to board her in a kennel where she was much happier. Also it did her anxiety good to be around other dogs but well supervised. Buen Camino.
 

gvmelissa

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP - SdC 2014
Porto - SdC 2016
Norte - 2018
Ing/Fin/Sdc 2019
You might consider using TrustedHouseSitters. There is no charge for house/pet sitting, it's more of an exchange type situation, however, you pay an annual fee of $129. There is no limit to the number of times/days you use it. Basically, you register on the website as either a pet/house owner or sitter. Sitters offer their services and owners offer their house with no money exchanging hands. Sitters provide several letters of reference, a personal profile description, and photos. Owners describe themselves, their pets and needs, and a bit about their house. A sitter applies when a house/pet sit is posted and the owner is able to review all the applicants (there will be a LOT of applicants). It is a worldwide organization. My husband and I have been registered with them for a couple of years and love it!
Anyway, if you are interested here is a link to them. If you use this link you get 2 months free on your first year. https://www.trustedhousesitters.com..._campaign=refer-a-friend&utm_source=copy-link
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I walked the camino francis in 2018 and am planning hopefully to walk it when I retire in 3-5 years. I have a question for pet owners who have left their dog home. I was convinced to get a dog last year and my adult daughter assured me should we be available for babysitting him. She is moving and I am not sure about boarding him for 5 weeks, the cost, the dogs physical and mental health. I have boarded him for 5 days once and a weekend and he was fine. Boarding him is $30 a day so the cost I would have to save for and factor in if I do that. I am glad I have him. He's a lovable guy, boarder collie that walks daily with me, but there is no way I would take him on the Camino. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience in dealing with this issue?
I am what is referred to as "a dog person." I like dogs very much. I prefer being around dogs more than I prefer being around people because they usually are more Christian than human beings. After my Scottie died in 2015, I decided never to get another dog, particularly because I planned to do much travel every year, including pilgrimages (and COVID says hahahaha), and didn't want to be in the situation you now find yourself. I really feel for you in this circumstance.
Years ago with my first Scottish terrier, I was blessed to find a boarding kennel a man had set up outside of the city. He designed it so the dogs had enough space to rest and play, and because the place was in the mountains, was able to take the dogs for frolicking romps at least once a day, and usually twice a day. He was quite familiar with dog behavior (he trained Search and Rescue dogs), and thus was willing to make needed accommodation if problems arose. One would bring the dog's food, so there was no change in diet. Angus did well there, but, as is the way of Scotties, would snub me for a day and a half when I returned from my sojourns. What a great place that was. If there were more places like that--run by people who truly care for animals and wouldn't consider the work "just a business"--I would consider having another animal companion.
I am always happy to care for dogs whose people are away. I do not know where you live, but perhaps there are folks around there who would help. Elsewhere people wisely have posted places to contact to help you in your search. When you find someone good, hang on to her or him! I wish you well. Ultreya!
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
For the Camino I did leave my 2 dogs with my daughter (and her husband and dog) in another country. Just a bit of extra travel but nothing compared with Camino. Dogs were fine, they all 3 had lived together already. But for other travels I always take the dogs with me. They like it. True I also always travel by car - a constant they know as their own. And have to book hotels months in advance as not all do allow pets. That's why I got the dogs, to have them with me. They have marked territory from Torrevieja to Tallinn.
 
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Lisa HS

Contributing Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) Spring (2016)
Portuguese (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) Spring (2018)
If you know any young adults who've had to move back in with their parents (common these days), you might consider inviting them to come and stay in your house and take care of the dog.

That's what we did with a 20-something young friend of mine. Although she loves her dad, she was very happy to have a break from living with him for the 2 months we were on our Camino. I did not pay her, but of course brought her a nice gift of Camino jewellery. Worked out beautifully.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
My last dog was a border collie and if I had to go away for any length of time, I called on a close friend to stay in the house with her. My friend had known the dog since she was a puppy, and they got along famously — it was a perfect solution. As others have said and you undoubtedly know, BCs need a ton of exercise and I could never have taken mine to a kennel.

You have some time to make connections locally with dog people – perhaps through an obedience or agility club. If you know other dogs and their people, that opens a whole different set of possibilities. Reciprocal care is a wonderful option, like a slumber party with a familiar dog friend.
I would recommend that you have your dog spend time with any prospective care person before you go. As this means they know what they are in for and that the dog is used to them and will follow their commands etc. It also means the dog know that even if you go away, you will come back.
Good point. Your guy, being a Border Collie, will not forget you when you leave.
I love the little guy and don't regret getting him in any way, and I would worry about him, but not going I would sort of resent having him, so I will have to work through this.
Time's your friend...good you're thinking ahead!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan on walking the Camino Frances May 2019, God willing
My dogs hate boarding, I get a house/dog sitter so that I can leave them in an environment that they feel comfortable in. I've been lucky in that one of our local vet nurses used to house sit and worked out great for us as she loved them and was also able to give them medications. One needs tablets, the other a regular injection. It was cheaper than boarding them, and she knew the dogs well beforehand. They liked her and our location was only 5 minutes away from her mother and her workplace.
One day, several months after our return last year, I was walking on the beach with my dog when a women called out - she thought she recognised the dog. Turns out that she was the mother of Sophie our dog minder , and while we were away she had walked with Sophie and our dogs. She showed me the photos she had taken off them, it was nice to think they had a good time while we were away.

A place to start is your local vet, our vet clinic had a number of brochures of pet/house minding people.
My daughter LOVES dogs - had 4 at the same time for a few years! She now dog-sits at others' homes to get her dog fix since she can't have her own. It is a win-win.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
My daughter LOVES dogs - had 4 at the same time for a few years! She now dog-sits at others' homes to get her dog fix since she can't have her own. It is a win-win.
Before I moved to Auckland 25 years ago, my sister and I lived about half an hour apart. We had a reciprocal arrangement that each of us would look after each others dogs, which was great as the dogs were also best friends.
I also had friends, and friends of friends, with dogs, and provided my dogs liked theirs (they usually did), and I wasn't planning on going away myself I would look after their dogs as well, so I often had a house full of dogs. I didn't charge for looking after them other than the food. I usually had them bring in their own dogs bed so it had a familiar bed. The longest they stayed was about a month, usually one or two weeks at a time.
I had a few rules - all dogs had to eat the same. My dogs eat a vet supplied raw diet, so I fed their dogs that too, and was reimbursed. Of course if theirs needed medication or something specific as well etc that was fine, but feeding one dog cheap biscuits next to another eating raw meat - that just ends in growling, or a dejected dog. They know the difference. Even with Labradors. I used to look after our lawyers dog, he was such a cheapskate, he would want me to feed her low grade biscuits, so he had to pay me up front for decent food. At the end of the day he was getting free dog minding. She was a lovely dog though, and I used to like having her.
They had to behave well on a lead. All the dogs I looked after were large, retrievers, Rottweilers, Shepherds etc. If walking 2 or 3 dogs I had to be able to walk them under control. I once took in a dog that hadn't been leash trained, and it nearly ripped my arm out of its socket. None of our friends had small dogs and I am 5'1".
They had to be washed and flea/worm treated. All my dogs are house dogs, I learnt that lesson the hard way, and had to flea bomb the house.
As I also had cats, I couldnt take cat-chasing dogs. My cats need to feel safe in their home.
Thinking back there were about 9 dogs I used to look after regularly, and 3 that I used to walk regularly. The only down side was the extra poop scooping to keep the lawn clear. The upside is that we never had any trouble with possums (a terrible pest in NZ) eating the fruit trees.
I have moved back up north now, but my sister no longer has a dog, and I dont know if I will take in extras - maybe?
 
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witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
We left our dog for 12 weeks with a friend who had a dog. When we got back we were expecting a happy dog but for a week he held a grudge for us leaving him. We have since watched over our friend's dog for more than 12 weeks.
We too have dogs and have fortunately been able to leave them with family. Our golden retriever also held a grudge. The first two days that we were back at my sister in laws home he refused to stay with us at night and scratched at the door to leave. Golden feelings get hurt very easily, and he still gets upset when we go out even if it just for a short walk. :)🐶
 

alhartman

2005-2017 Delightful 346 days in Spain and France.
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Around my Toulouse to Santiago 2008 Camino, I had a house sitter/housemate picked from Craigslist. Mixed results as had to take his dogs as well, and they trashed much of the property. Fortunately, with a fenced yard most everything recovered. But the dog was regularly fed, watered and had two canine companions to play with. And he paid all the utilities. Experience convinced me to not replace the dog when she died--at least until my energy and ability to take long holidays is gone. And with covid, deconditioning, and aging, those days may be over. A dog is a big responsibility!!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Plus one for TrustedHousesitters. Who also look after a donkey, a mule, and four cats as well as the three dogs. Oh, and the hens....
 

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