How to Have a Dog While Traveling for Work – A Busy Owner’s Guide

Traveling for work a lot and caring for a dog? This is a challenging situation for many dog owners, especially those who can’t bring their pets with them every single time. Dog ownership and business travel are two tasks that are quite a handful to juggle. Still, with the right plan, you can work and still raise a good doggo. In this post, we will discuss how to have a dog while traveling for work together with other tips.

If you don’t have a dog yet…

If you often travel for work and thinking of getting a dog, you have to be very specific of the breed. Since your doggo will be left behind for days with a sitter or on a boarding home, you’d want one with an independent personality.

This isn’t to say that you need a stubborn dog. But if you want your pooch to thrive on your lifestyle, you have to ensure that they aren’t notorious for separation anxiety.

There are some breeds that can tolerate being left alone or being separated from their owners for a long time. So if you’re looking for a furry friend to bring home, we suggest that you consider these breeds:

*Basset Hound

Take note that even though these dogs have an air of self-confidence, you should still get a sitter to take care of their needs. Besides, your dog can’t open a bag of food or refill their water bowl.

how to have a dog while traveling for work

What if I have an anxious dog?

For owners who already have a dog, one thing they have to deal with is the potential separation anxiety. Canines like Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Bichon Frises, and Poodles are known for having the worst bouts of separation anxiety.

If you already own an anxious dog, you need someone who can accompany them for long hours. It could be in-home pet sitting or entrusting your dog in a boarding facility. But if you have a family member or close friend who’s willing to take your dog in while you’re gone, it would be better since they are familiar with the person.

Dogs and how your absence affects them

There’s a saying that goes “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. This might be true for dogs and their owners, but distance can also cause some problems.

First is separation anxiety. A short absence won’t usually show any immediate signs. However, if you’re gone for more than 12 hours, your doggo may go bonkers.

Being away and not seeing their owners strip a dog their sense of security. This feeling of fear and abandonment will push them to vent out. It could be through barking, chewing, or a combination of both. In the worst cases, it can also trigger the development of aggression.

Still, there are some ways to prepare your dog or get them used to your regular absence. Below, we discuss some options and what you need to know about it.

Leaving behind a puppy vs. an adult dog

Take note that puppies have different needs than adult canines. Puppies should never be left alone, regardless of the breed. Due to their small bodies and vulnerable state, they can easily get injured or die if not accompanied for hours.

For adult canines, the longest that you can leave them alone without a company is 12 hours. Also, crating shouldn’t be done the whole day as adult dogs need at least three times to eliminate. Keeping them inside the cage for long will cause accidents and health problems.

How to prep your dog for your travel

Knowing how to have a dog while traveling for work can be done by preparing your dog for the routine. The following are some of the tips we recommend:

*Crate training

Crate training allows your dog to get used to a small space where they will have a sense of security and comfort. Also, it makes leaving easier as the pooch will not see you exit the door.

However, as we said before, you should never leave your dog inside the crate for the whole day. You should ask someone to walk them and let them eliminate. Also, feeding is necessary to keep your doggo in good shape.

*Basic obedience

Basic obedience training is important for every dog, regardless if you’re traveling for work or not. This is so the pet sitter can easily handle them.

Basic commands like “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Leave it!” are useful when dealing with a dog. Your pooch doesn’t have to be circus smart. Just a few commands will do.


Another important thing that you have to do is to socialize your dog as early as possible. This way, they will not act aggressively toward pet sitters and other people that will care for them while you’re away.

Aside from that, introducing your dog to other people allows it to become familiar with other faces. That way, they won’t mind being around other people.

Moreover, you should socialize your dog with other dogs. This is very critical, especially if you’re boarding or leaving the pooch to a multi-canine household. However, we recognize that this part also has something to do with your pet’s breed.

*Vet checks

Before you leave your dog for a business trip, make sure that you have brought it to the vet for routine checks. This way, you can guarantee that your pooch is in the pink of health when you leave it. However, if the vet discovered that the doggo has an illness, you can consider leaving the pooch on the vet clinic for monitoring.

Aside from that, always inform the sitter or boarding facility about your dog’s health condition. That way, they’ll know what to avoid and what to do during emergencies.

*Getting them used to being alone

If you still have days to spare, get your dog used to being on their own for long hours. You can start by leaving the pooch behind for a short visit to the grocery store. In the next days, you can increase the duration in 30-minute increments. Paired with crating, you can leave your dog at home without arriving at a shredded couch or a chewed wooden foundation.

how to have a dog while traveling for work

Your options when leaving your dog behind

Knowing how to have a dog while traveling for work can be complicated. Still, you have four options if you need to go on a business trip.

*In-home pet sitting

In-home sitting is one of the leading options of pet owners. Under this setup, their dog would be accompanied by a sitter at home. That way, your dog won’t have to deal with the sensory overload of staying in a different house.

However, you have to be very picky with whom you’ll entrust your dog. We bet you’ve seen horror stories of dog sitters doing nasty things at the home of their clients.

To help you out, we discussed hiring in-home pet sitters in this separate post.

*Dog boarding

If you’re not at peace with strangers staying at your home, you can avail of a dog boarding service. Companies like Wag! and Rover offers this service for a certain fee.

Unlike in-home sitting, the sitters will accommodate your dog in their own home. This way, you have the guarantee that your dog has a company 24/7.

However, unlike the first option, you have to be careful with who you hire. We recommend meeting the dog sitter first and visiting their home before the start of the service.

Another option for dog boarding is a kennel facility. It’s like a daycare, except that dogs can sleep for days with proper care. Take note that most of these facilities look like shelters, which may not be suitable for all dogs.

*Asking a friend/relative

If you’re looking for a safe option, you can ask friends and family members if they are willing to watch over your dog for a few days. It would be great to have a friend who already has a pet and willing to keep your dog while you’re traveling.

Usually, this can be a free favor, though it’s common courtesy to offer payment or bring home a present for your friend who took care of your pooch.

*Vet clinic confinement

If there’s one safest place for your pooh while you’re away, it would be the vet clinic you trust. This is the best choice, especially if your pooch has a medical condition. Some vet clinics offer a boarding service for select canines, which you can inquire about.

How to keep your dog safe while you’re away

While you’re away, you can keep your pooch safe with these additional tips:

*Prepare an emergency plan

An emergency plan includes living the vet’s phone number to the sitter as well as an alternative contact if you fail to answer calls. For in-home sitting, it’s best to leave a spare key to a friend or a relative you trust so they can check your home if something goes wrong.

*Trust the right person

Always trust the right person. If you’re hiring a sitter online, look for one with hundreds of reviews and numerous repeat customers. These numbers will indicate how skilled and trustworthy that person is when it comes to taking care of your dog.

Aside from that, you can also install nanny cams all over your home for additional security.

*Communication is the key

Take note that you should always communicate with the sitter regularly while you’re away. Video calls are handy so you can check your pooch right away and ensure that everything is going as planned.

*Leave enough money for your dog’s supplies

If you’re going to be away for days, make sure that you leave some money to the sitter so they can buy supplies for your dogs. Anyway, you can shop in advance so everything is readily available at your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane?

A: If your dog is small enough to fit in a carrier under a seat, you can actually bring them as carry-on luggage. However, this is subject to the individual rules of airlines. Generally, you can’t carry your pet by hand as all airlines require that they should be contained in an approved crate.

Q: Is flying regularly risky for dogs?

A: Yes, especially for brachycephalic (flat-nosed) dogs. The pressure inside the airplane can cause respiratory and vascular problems among canines, especially on repeated flights. Take note that sedating your dog for the flight will not be safe either as this will increase their risk of having breathing difficulties.

Q: Can you get a dog if you work full time?

A: Yes, but you have to choose the right breed. Make sure that the dog you’re getting isn’t notorious for separation anxiety. That means no Pitbulls, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Boxers, and so on. Unless you have someone to accompany them, you’re better off with independent breeds.

Q: How do you calm a dog when leaving them at home?

A: Crate training, proper exercise, and obedience training are helpful so you can keep your dog calm when it’s time for you to go out the door. Still, you have other options which we discussed above if you can’t leave your pooch alone at home.

Q: Can I leave my dog alone for 12 hours?

A: Usually, dogs can be left behind alone for 6 to 8 hours a day, depending on their breed. Still, you have to get someone to accompany your dog if you’ll be gone overnight or for a few days. Aside from eliminating, your dog also has to eat and get enough exercise.

Final words

Knowing how to have a dog while traveling for work can be a little tricky. But by trusting the right people and knowing what’s best for your pooch, you can take your trip with peace of mind. What do you think of this post? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!