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While most pups will be a joy to spend time with on Vacay, some pups may exhibit behaviors their owners may not even know about while they're away. We've got some tips to help prevent/ease these behaviors and protect your home while you're at it!

Tips for Nervous Pups

1. Get Lots of Exercise! 

When you have a new Guest pup the best thing you can do for them is help them expend all that anxious energy either through a long walk or lots of play in an outdoor space!

2. Not Eating or Upset Stomach? 

It's very common for a worried pup to not eat, or even have an upset stomach the first 24-48 hours of a Vacay. Always consult with the Guest first to ensure it's okay, but you can try the options below to help the pup feel better.

  • If the pup has diarrhea, you can switch them to a diet of boiled chicken and white rice (it's also okay to skip a meal if the pup's tummy is upset if the Guest is okay with this and then start with chicken and rice)
  • In addition, you can also add 1 tbs of pumpkin puree to a pup's meal per day if they have loose stool or they're constipated. Pumpkin is high in fiber and water content!
  • Keep the pup hydrated by adding a little homemade chicken stock to their water to incentivize them to drink more water
  • If the pup presents with serious discomfort, call DogVacay right away!

3. Let a Nervous Pup Decompress. 

If Hosting multiple pups while you have a nervous Guest in your care and you have the space to do so, give them some time to decompress in a separate safe space. Coming into a crowd of new pups can be overwhelming and set a skittish pup up for failure.

Do introductions outside of your home, in a neutral location and then create a quiet safe space for the nervous pup to settle in for the first part of the Vacay.

Tips for Less-than-Desired Pup Behaviors

4. Marking and Mounting.

Whether you want to purchase or create your own DIY solution, Belly Bands are a great way to prevent male Guests from marking their territory (your home, and everything in it) as their own, as well as showing off their amorous or machismo skills.

A Belly Band is a simple band of cloth that wraps around the waist of the pup with a disposable insert. There are a couple options to easily make your own:

  • Use an Ace bandage wrapped around the pup with an adult incontinence pad as the insert, held together with velcro strips
  • You can also try baby diapers with the tabs cut off and velcro strips to hold them on
Photos Courtesy of Hosts Vickie C. and Stephanie C.

5. Mischievous pup?

Give them a job to do...focus on you. Whether simply tying their leash to your belt loop or using a carabiner to attach them to you, keeping them close will not only keep them out of trouble it will also teach them to focus on you.

Useful Products and Tips for Protecting Your Home

6. Baby gates

Baby gates are an inexpensive tool that can make a Host's life easier in multiple ways! Here are just a few examples of how you can use them:

  • Keep pups in a secure area away from entrances during pickup and drop offs
  • Separate dogs that need a break from each other
  • Separate food reactive pups during feeding time

7. Pup with No ID Tag?

Keep some temporary wrist bands handy. You can write the dog's name and your contact info on them and wrap them around the pup's collar and then just rip it off when the pup goes home. They're inexpensive and effective!

Photo Courtesy of Host Wendy N.

8. Protect Your Walls, Baseboards, and Doors.

Bored or nervous pups may scratch or chew on wall edges, baseboards, and doors. There are products you can order, like the Clawguard specifically to protect them, or you can use good ol' removable duct tape to help keep puppy teeth off of them.

Photo Courtesy of Host Lorraine P.

9. Removing Pet Stains and Lingering Odors.

Enzymatic cleaners are the way to go when you've got pups who may have accidents in your home. Whether it's Nature's Miracle, Equalizer, or Chrisal Pip...these products can help clean up the messes your adorable guests leave behind.

10. Get an Ultraviolet Light to find hidden stains. 

Not sure if your last Guest was a marker? Use an ultraviolet light to make sure. Set in pet stains can encourage future Guests to continue the pattern of marking. Taking an inexpensive black light around desirable marking locations in your home can help you ensure everything gets cleaned up properly!


Please note, if you're having a tough time with a pup while on Vacay, our team is here for you! We have lots of tips and are happy to help so please don't hesitate to reach out to us. 


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