How to Deal with Vacation Guilt

We've all been there - stressed from work or school and needing a break. You start dreaming up fun, new places to visit. You call your friends, book the plane tickets, find a cute Airbnb. You're pumped to take a little time for just you...until your little pup runs over and puts her cute little nose in your lap. And then the guilt sets in.

"I don't want to leave her..."
"Does the dog sitter do things the way I do?"
"She might think I'm never coming back!"

Story. Of. My. Life.

Leaving Sadie is always the hardest part of going on a vacation, and in a lot of cases is the reason I will skip a relaxing getaway all together. I will tell you, that behavior doesn't get you very far with friends and family because really, who passes up a beach vacation because they don't want to leave their cocker spaniel at home?

As much I hate to admit that this mentality has becoming limiting to my personal life, I do recognize the impact it has. To help me deal with the vacation guilt, I follow a few practices that help me (and Sadie) feel better about a few days apart.


There is no shortage of pet boarding options in any given city, most of which are probably just fine for caring for your pup for a few short days. But if you're like me, "fine" isn't good enough. To make sure you are totally at ease leaving your little fur babe at a boarding center, treat the search like house shopping. Look up the top-rated facilities in your area, make a list of your favorites, and then pay them a visit. Boarding centers should be happy to give you a tour of the facilities. If not, then RUN! 

Keep in mind "luxury" pet boarding is a widely growing trend, and if you can swing a few extra bucks per night, there is no better place to leave your pup. Most of them even have video cameras so you can watch your pup in real time.

Once you’re happy with the facility you’ve chosen, be sure to leave everything that your pup would want to have if she were at home – a favorite toy, a shirt that smells like you, the food she eats every day. This gives her a sense of home in the new territory, which in turn gives you some peace of mind.

Pet Sitting

Some of you may be lucky enough to have a trustworthy pet sitter come watch your pup at home while you're away. However, if you’re like me, you may still have reservations about leaving her with someone who isn’t you. I find that writing out a detailed schedule and specific notes about how to care for Sadie puts me at ease when leaving her with another human. Make this guide as specific and detailed as possible to take all of the guesswork away from watching your pup.


Once you have your pup’s arrangements taken care of, the next step is getting yourself in the mindset that everything will be ok. Yes, you will miss her. Yes, you will wonder all throughout the trip how she is doing without you. But it is important to trust in everything you’ve coordinated to make your vacation seamless for you and your pup.

At Sadie & Co. we know that no matter how much you plan or how much your psych yourself up for a vacation, there will still be lingering guilt and second guessing. All you can do is trust the plan and remind yourself that you deserve some you time…and after all, isn’t that what she would want for you anyway?

Now get out there and have some fun, pup moms!


If you have other tips or tricks for dealing with vacation guilt, shoot us an email. We'd love to share a follow up post with additional helpful tips.

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