Will My Dog Think I Abandoned Him When I Go On vacation?

Trying to decide where and who to leave your dog with when you're planning on going away can be hard and stressful. Many factors have an impact on your dog's state when you're going to travel, whether on a business trip, for pleasure, or for another reason. If this is a decision you'll need to make in the near future, here are a few options to consider.

Deciding Where to Leave Your Dog

If you can get someone to come and take care of them while you're away, this is a great solution. They might already be familiar with your friends or loved ones, so they'll recognize the person and you won't need to bring someone completely new into your home. A stranger will need to learn your dog's schedule and what they are like. This will take time, and the dog might find it stressful.

Alternatively, you can leave them at a pet hotel. You will find some suitable hotels at sites like PetHotels.com. If you can't get a friend or loved one to look after them, hire a dog sitter to take care of them when you're away. Leaving them at home is a good option if you feel they might not adapt to their new environment. They'll be with their own stuff, in their own space. They will find this highly comforting in your absence.

Pet Sitting: The Details

Of course, you can always hire a professional sitter if you're lucky enough to have access to quality pet care in your area. Whoever you choose to task with providing care, they need to be reliable and responsible. Leaving the dog at home isn't without disadvantages. The sitter might not walk them as often as they need to be walked. They won't get bathroom breaks often, even if they're provided with water and food. If there isn't anyone to monitor or supervise them, they might be at risk. Many things can go wrong. Yes, them believing they were abandoned is one of those. 

To make sure there aren't any issues while you're gone, instruct the sitter, friend, or relative how you want them to care for your pet in as much detail as you can. If your friend or family member lets the dog jump on them or feeds them from the table and you're not happy about it, it may lead to conflict down the line.

If you don't have a friend, family member, or neighbor who will sit your dog for you, there are many services that provide dog sitting while owners are away on vacation. They can also water your plants and get your mail. You'll have peace of mind knowing your pet and your home are being taken care of while you're away.  

Minimizing the Stress

You're not going to enjoy your vacation if you're worrying that they'll feel abandoned. This might even be deterring you from leaving. It's even more nerve-wracking if your dog has separation anxiety. The separation is bound to have an effect on them, at least initially. If you prepare properly, they will adjust to your absence. Dogs are social but also very adaptable animals.

There are lots of things you can do to improve their experience, depending on what arrangements you make for their care. Before leaving, try to spend more time with them, so they feel more loved. If their sitter is a stranger to them, try to arrange a meet and greet in advance. They might feel uncomfortable with a complete stranger, even if he or she is a professional sitter.

Leaving them at a hotel is a good option because they'll have other dogs to play with. To help them feel less lonely, you can leave one or two of their belongings with them, like toys or blankets. If you leave them a pair of your socks or an old shirt, they'll feel your presence through your scent.  

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