How To Prepare Your Dog Emotionally Before You Travel

  • 20/05/2021
emotional-travel.jpegYour dog is a family member and will probably miss you when you go on vacation even more than you will him or her. Before leaving, you must prepare your pet for your absence emotionally so they don’t suffer as much. The steps outlined in this article will help you.

First, you need to decide where they will stay. You can look for a hotel, board your dog with a veterinarian, or hire a pet sitter. Whatever choice you make, let the caregiver know all there is to know about your canine’s routines, needs, and quirks. Give them any health-related data you have, in particular your vet’s contact information. Only then can you fully focus on their emotional well-being?

Get Them Ready

It will help to spend some extra time with them before you go. They will appreciate it. It doesn’t have to be anything special: something as simple as an extra walk or a bit more cuddling on the couch will do. You can also get them some interesting toys. Purchase a few new toys when you leave to distract them a little from your absence. Ask your pet sitter to play with the dog and the new toys, so they become familiar with them.

Become Familiar With Their new Surroundings

This goes without saying, but you should meet the staff at pet hotels or other boarding facilities before making a commitment. So should your dog. They’ll be more comfortable if they can meet the future caregiver once or twice.

If you believe they will suffer from separation anxiety, share this with the sitter. If their anxiety tends to increase, you mustn’t leave them on their own for extended periods of time. It takes some time to train a dog to overcome separation anxiety.

If you get a pet sitter to come to your home, the dog will remain in familiar surroundings. If you choose a hotel instead, you need to pack some of their things to take with them. Their bed is one of those things. They will feel more comfortable because it will smell like your home. Take their usual food and treats by all means, as well as a pair of your socks or one of your T-shirts. It will help to take a special blanket too. If they don’t have one, you could buy a dog blanket sometime before leaving. This should be at least a week so it will accumulate the smells of their usual surroundings. Dogs tend to find comfort in burrowing.

Get Them Groomed

Unless you’re only going away for a few days, your dog needs to be groomed. Take them to the vet or a groomer before you go, or book a groomer to come to take care of them if you’re leaving them with a sitter or in a hotel. Make sure they get enough exercise before packing up. Get them to move, be it by playing fetch in the park or going for a walk. They will not feel relaxed if they have lots of extra energy.

Get Toys and Chews to Distract Them

Get some toys and chews and give them to your dog on the day you leave. That will distract them from your departure by occupying them for some time. Don’t send chews and toys if your dog will be boarding somewhere or staying in a home with other dogs because they can invoke territorial behaviour.

Keep Calm

When you’re leaving, stay calm, focused, and confident. Dogs pick up on our emotions quickly and easily. The more emotional and anxious you feel about going away, the more emotional and anxious they will feel about it too. If you act comfortable, they will feel comfortable as well.

Try hard to hide feelings of sorrow or anxiety. If you’re already starting to feel upset one or two days before departing, take your dog outside to play or snuggle on the couch. It’s important to increase bonding time before leaving. Plus, it’ll make you feel a lot better.

Final Thoughts

You will miss them, and they will miss you, that’s certain. The more comfortable you act (and are), the better they will take it. Plan ahead, project serenity and confidence, and both of you will feel better prepared for the separation, no matter how long it is anticipated to be.  

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