Going for snowboarding is fun, having a dog or a cat is sweet and complete for your life. But then how to keep your pet happy when you go for skiing or snowboarding may be a headache since it is forbidden to bring your dog or cat to go for your riding with you.
As a snowboarder and the owner of two dogs, I would like to share with you some useful tips about how to take care of your pet when you go hit the big white mountain with your skis or snowboard.
1. Leave Them at Home and Ask a Neighbour to Keep an Eye on Them
This is what one of my snowboarding instructor friends always does because he lives around 20 minutes by driving to the mountain. Usually, he walks his dog before he leaves for work or riding, leaves them with enough water, food, and toys, put on the pee pads and make sure the heater is on so the house is warm and nice then he heads out for snowboarding.
When he comes back he just walks them again. Just like a dog owner who needs to work full time. In addition, he places a key at his trusted neighbors so they can go take a look at his dogs for him if anything wrong happened and he just couldn’t come back on time.
- Those who are living really close to the ski resort and can just drive there for a day trip.
Not suitable for:
- As long as you can’t do a day trip to the mountain, you can’t use this method.
2. Ask a Friend or Family Member for Help
As long as you can’t return home on the same day, it is a good idea to ask your trusted family members or friends who are good with animals to look after them. These are some useful steps you may want to follow:
- Arrange meet-ups for them, so to make sure they can cope well with each other.
- Plan and ask in advance so you can make sure your friends or family members are available during your skiing or snowboarding period.
- Double confirm with them around one month ahead to your holiday. In case of any emergency occurs, you can just go find someone else.
- Make sure the arrangement is convenient for them.
- Incentive is always a good idea, if you are not paying them, then make sure you do something they will appreciate it, like a dinner or some gifts.
- Those who have loads of friends or you live really close to family.
Not suitable for:
- Those who are living very far away from their family or those with not that many pet-friendly friends, or maybe, your pet-friendly friends are not available during that period.
3. Bring Your Dogs or Cats to The Mountain with You
If you can drive to a dog-friendly ski resort, some people may choose to bring along their dogs with them. I saw some people leave their dogs in the car but honestly, I would say it’s a BIG BIG BIG NO for this.
Once I went for a same day return snowboarding trip with my friends who bought over his dog, he had prepared blankets, a dog’s down jackets, boots for him but I can feel how much his dogs wanted to go with us when we left the car.
I felt terrible for around three hours and decided to go back and take a look at him. He was super excited and happy when he saw me. So at the end of the day, I spent my whole day walking and playing with him in the snow.
Some people may think that’s alright because they walk the dog by lunch break or something and their dogs are getting used to it. For me, I really felt it’s kinda sad to place your dog in your car which is just a huge size cage for the whole day. So yes, please, if you are bringing your dog to the mountain with you, make sure:
- Find a dog-friendly apartment or ski resort so you are allowed to go skiing or snowboarding with your dogs.
- Find a pet sitter around the area so they can come to bring them out for a walk when you are away for skiing or snowboarding.
- Make sure you notice the management of your accommodation just in case any accident happened and you cannot come back on time, they can go check out your dogs for you.
- Those can drive to a pet-friendly ski resort and there is an available pet sitter nearby.
Not suitable for:
- Those of you cannot drive to the ski resort or is going to a resort without pet-friendly services.
4. Place Your Dog or Cat in a Kennel
This is probably a more expensive option but then your pets will receive excellent care, some states in the U.S. have specific kennel laws. Just make sure to:
- Check the kennel before you are flying out.
- Do a short trial stay first to make sure your pets are happy with them.
- Prebook the kennel because they fill up very fast during holidays.
- Pet owners who don’t want to bother their friends and family.
- Those who are able to afford the cost of letting them to stay at Kennels.
- Those with cats or dogs or both who are happy with the Kennel.
- Those who are in a rush and cannot find someone else to look after their pets.
Not suitable for:
- Those cannot afford the cost for sending them to the kennels, especially for those who are going for a long trip, the sum could be quite a bit.
- Those with pets don’t like to stay with Kennel.
5. Look for a Pet Sitter
Looking for a pet sitter online is very easy these days. Most of my friends in North America are using Rover.com to find a pet sitter / dog-walker / drop-in visits while they go for a holiday. I use Pawshake.com instead because of my location. Both sites are offering very similar services, pet owners can choose to send their dogs or cats to stay with them, find someone to come and stay in your place with your pets, or just simply ask for drop-in visits or walking services are also fine.
I choose to use this service because my dogs are kinda sensitive and they prefer to stay in a more home-like environment plus I have built a long-term relationship with the pet sitter and we cope very well with each other.
Here are useful tips for you when you are looking for a pet sitter online:
- Read their profiles and make sure they can be trusted and are capable to handle your pets well.
- Arrange trail meetup so to make sure they can cope well with each other.
- Arrange trail stay before you go for your holiday.
- Ask them to send you photos of your pets when you are away.
- Build a good relationship with your pet sitters.
- Look for those with good reviews.
- Those who are willing to pay for a pet sitter and don’t want to bother their family or friends.
- Pet owners with dogs or cats don’t like the kennel or prefer to stay in a house or home-like environment.
Not Suitable for:
- Those who cannot afford to pay for a pet sitter.
- Always plan your trip in advance and notice changes of your pet.
- If you find a good pet sitter or kennel, think of sticking to them as long as your pets are happy because pets hate changes.
I hope this article could help you as a pet owner and skier/snowboarder stay happy and without worry about your fluffy kids while you are away. Sorting out your pets is always the first priority than going for skiing or snowboarding because it’s very much like a parenting relationship. If your pets can join you to the ski resorts, make sure they are also going for a holiday too!
Happy snowboarding and stay safe! Cheers!