It happens to even the most devoted pet parents.
You have to leave home and you can’t always take your dog with you.
In the best circumstances it’s a planned separation but sometimes your leave of absence is sudden, like when a family member falls ill or your job calls you away unexpectedly. These situations are a necessary part of life but they can be hard for your dog. His whole goal in life is just to be with you. And for some dogs, being separated from you can be very traumatic.
That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and make separation easier for you both.
Planning ahead can help make being away easier for both you and your pup. Here’s how.
1) Emergency Contacts Just like with children, prepare a list of emergency contact numbers for your pet sitter. Include pet poison control, your veterinarian’s number, and at least two contact numbers for yourself along with the number of a trusted relative or close friend your dog is familiar with.
2) Medical Records Include copies of your dog’s vaccination records and any pertinent medical information an emergency veterinarian would need to care for your dog.
3) Comfort Matters Always include a little piece of home to help comfort your dog. Pack his favorite toy, blanket, or a sweater of yours so he has something to make him feel comfortable while he’s gone.
4) Stay Healthy Keep supplies ready to go like a fresh bag of food, bottled water, supplements or medication, and lots of treats.
5) Stick to It If your dog has a specific routine, write it down for your pet sitter. Sometimes sticking to the usual can help your dog feel less anxious about the change.
6) Calm is Best If your pup has a serious case of separation anxiety, try TruDog's CALM ME natural calming supplements for dogs. They won’t knock him out but they can make a difference between super-high anxiety that results in vomiting, diarrhea and destructive behavior, or just an anxious pup.
7) Keep in Contact I know it may sound a little like you’ve travelled to crazy-dog-person town, but I like to Skype with my dog when I have to be away. I set up an extra laptop and let my pet sitter know when I’ll be calling. My dog seems to enjoy my calls, and I get to see her fluffy face while I’m away. I think it’s good for both of us.
8) Check Yourself Try to calm your own nerves. Experts have estimated that 90% of our pet’s anxieties stem directly from the energy we project. Simply put, if you’re nervous and upset, your dog will be nervous and upset. If you can work at keeping yourself calm and positive, it will rub off your dog’s attitude about being away from you as well.
9) Plan Exercise Be sure to ask your pet sitter to schedule in extra exercise and play time for your dog while you’re away. All that nervous has to go somewhere, so better it be expelled in an extra walk than eating your couch cushions or scratching at the door to find you.
10) Trust Matters Always check out a pet sitter before leaving them with your dog. It’s sad, but some people will advertise themselves as pet sitters just to earn some extra cash when they really don’t like dogs at all and haven’t a clue how to care for one. Observe them closely with your dog and ask for references. And always go with your gut. If something feels off, look for another pet sitter.
Leaving your dog is hard but planning ahead can make those separations just a little bit easier on you both.
I like to leave my dog with family when I have to be away, but many pet parents prefer to hire a professional pet sitter or use a trusted kennel service. Choose an option that’s right for you after careful consideration.
My dogs have given me an entirely new spiritual perspective on life. I now have a genuine understanding of unconditional love and provision.