Dog Days of Summer

I have a dilemma and I need your help. I’m planning on going home for about three weeks when the handsome man in the photo above deploys. Home, if you remember, is in New Mexico and I’m currently in Georgia. Usually I’d have no problemo hopping on a plane and flying home. But now that we have a dog I have no idea what to do. 

Here are my options, and I’d love for you to weigh in with your opinions/experiences.

1. Let Her Fly. Pros: We’d get home fast, I’d get to see her every day, and she won’t have to deal with other people taking care of her. Cons: It will cost more for her to fly than it will for me and I’ve heard if the temperature is hotter than 85 degrees they won’t let animals fly (it gets too hot out there on the flight line).The thought of traveling with a pet stresses me out just thinking about it.

2. Kennel.  Pros: She would have someone taking care of her and I wouldn’t have the added stress of traveling with an animal. Cons: I’ve seen pictures of places here in town and it makes me really, really sad to think of leaving her in a teeny room for three weeks.

3. We Drive. Pros: She’s with me and I don’t have to worry about how hot it gets or leaving her in a tiny room. Cons: She’s in car for 8 hours a day, except for when we stop. It’ll cost a lot for hotels and gas. 

4. Find a Friend. We find someone reputable to come over to our house and feed her twice a day.

I’m completely torn on what to do. Help, please!


  1. How long are you going? I'd fly her, if it's not too hot. Otherwise, I'd go kennel. We looked for quite awhile before we found a kennel that was right for Chase. We love the people at his kennel, and we can schedule "play time" daily or more so that he isn't just in a cell, and he absolutely loves going there. This is not to say that the first week he was there I wasn't calling every day that he was a child to check up on him. 😉 I'd look around, you'll find a place you're happy with!

  2. We are having the same dilema! We are going to California for a few weeks at the end of the year and don't know what to do with our dog. I want to fly with him but it will cost $800 both ways to take him. But I don't want to leave him in a kennel because I have heard a lot of horror stories about them. Now we are looking for friends who have dogs that get along with Pablo and seeing if they will keep hi wit their dogs and when they go on vacation we watch theirs.I never thought having a dog would be so stressful!

  3. I would say try to find a friend to either housesit/dogsit for you or take him to their house for three weeks. He'll be lonely if he just gets walked twice a day.

    As far as travelling, with a little dog it's not so bad, but with a big dog it is hard. I wouldn't fly him unneccessarily — it's very stressful for the dog to be in the cargo hold without you. Driving would be a good solution if it wasn't so far…I don't think your pup would have a problem with it, but you would be using a lot of your 3 weeks to drive there and back.

    I say leave him at home with a friend or drive as a second choice! Good luck!

  4. I don't think I'd drive it. If you're fine not having your car while being at home then I'd just fly it and take her with you. Normally it's only about 125 bucks to fly an animal depending on the airline.

  5. Hi Jess,

    I just looked up the pet-embargo thing for you, and this is what the Delta website says: "Delta has placed an embargo (a stoppage) on accepting pets as checked bags during hot weather. Extreme heat (85F or 29C) during the summer months can put animals in a life threatening situation onboard our aircraft. The embargo is in the best interest of the pet." (source:

    So if you're back before May 15, you should be OK.

    Having said that, maybe leaving him with friends might be an option you want to look at as well, since flying with a dog can be stressful on the dog and the owner 🙂

  6. Hi Jessica,

    What a cute pup! One alternative to a kennel is a professional pet sitter. This person can maintain your dog's exercise and eating schedule, give personal attention, and keep your pup where she feels most comfortable — home! We have a "find a pet sitter" tool as well as tips on selecting the right sitter on our website.

    Good luck in finding the right solution!

    Public Relations Coordinator
    National Association of Professional Pet Sitter
    Twitter: @TheNAPPS

  7. We board our dogs whenever we go anywhere. Flying with a dog scares me. Our dogs would be small enough to fit under a seat, but I would never fly with a dog that I had to "check" like luggage. I've had brand new luggage come back to me ripped, so I can just imagine how they might treat a caged animal.

    Try looking up "Pet Resorts" rather than "kennel." You'll probably find nicer places. But the nicer a place is the more expensive it's going to be. Probably about the same amount that you'd spend on gas and hotels if you drove. Visit a kennel before you take your dog there. If they're on the up and up and are good kennels, they'll take you on a tour and let you see where your dog will be staying.

    I'd say drive. You get to bring your pup with you which will make her happy. And price wise, I think it would be comparable to your other options.

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