I'm visiting my family for the holidays in Boston. My senior German Shepherd
cannot come with me. How can I make sure that my house is not destroyed and neither my dog nor my roommate are traumatized by the experience?
The current plan is to have the usual dog walker come twice a day and take care of walking and feeding, and my roommate will be home and will hopefully play with and hang out with him. I have a cheat sheet with feeding instructions, emergency numbers, tips and tricks, and I will be checking in with the dog walker and/or my roommate every day.
And I am a fucking nervous wreck.
-My dog has a history of digestive problems, and I think we're pretty much out of the woods now, but I'm still worried that he will have a diarrhea attack when I'm out of town. I have the special sensitive stomach food the vet gave me and a week's worth of antibiotics if necessary, but I'm mostly crossing my fingers. His last shit-all-over-the-porch incident was last week, and I think the one before that was at the very end of October. Is there anything else I should do?
-My roommate last night offered to "take him to the dog park sometimes." How can I communicate to her that I don't trust her to take him out without saying that explicitly? My dog is kind of a pain in the ass, and my roommate is nice but a little clueless about some things. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I also want to make sure nothing bad happens.
-After a panic-induced emergency trip to the vet last night - he ate some tinfoil - my poor old dog peed on the floor. First time ever. Now I have something else to worry about. Is possible that he just had a weird accident, and I should forget about it?
-It's not that cold in LA, but he's old and used to sleeping inside. If my roommate forgets to bring him inside or isn't home, are temperatures in the forties going to hurt him? He has a dog house/crate with lots of blankets, but he doesn't go in there that much.
-I don't want to stress him out when I pack, so my current plan is to leave my suitcase lying around from now until I leave on Monday. Will he get used to the suitcase, or is this a stupid idea?
-He currently can't get on my bed. (Or rather, he can but is afraid to jump that high inside. That's fine by me). Should I get him some pet stairs? I kind of like the idea of not having to worry about coming home to a chewed up mattress, but I also feel guilty about leaving him and want to make his week without me as pleasant as possible.
I figure that whatever happens, he's better off at home with people he knows than kenneled at the vet's office. He's a sweet, mellow old boy, and he will probably sleep
most of the week and handle all this better than I will. But still, Hivemind, what are the best practices for leaving a dog for a week?