Now that travel is returning back to normal, it’s no surprise that you would want to take a nice holiday overseas. While vacationing with our dogs would be a fantastic experience for sure, we might not always be able to. Nevertheless, it is of paramount importance that we understand the fact that it is okay to not bring along your dog when you travel, and to eliminate any feelings of guilt. Of course your dog will miss you, but as long as it is safe and getting plenty of play time, it will be happy while it awaits your return!
However, if it is going to be your first experience leaving your canine companion at home while you go on vacation, you may be worried about how to alleviate the problem of separation anxiety. And how to provide and ensure that your dog or puppy is happy and has the best conditions while you are away. Not to worry, not only does The Pup Life provide top notch boarding services for your fur-kid, we are also going to be sharing tips on how to make the process smooth as possible, so that you can travel with an ease and peace of mind!
Tip 1: Spend quality pre-vacation time together
You will not be able to see your fur-kid while you are away, so be sure to dedicate extra time to hang out together before you leave, as this extra time would mean the world to your dog. And a few extra snuggles never hurt anyone!
You should also ensure your dog gets enough exercise before you leave. Taking your dog for a nice, long walk can help keep it happy, and expand its energy so that it would not be as jumpy or nervous come boarding day.
It would also be a good idea to get your vacation prep done ahead of time, rather than at the last minute. As rushing it all before the night you leave can give off signs to your dog that something is up. Prepping earlier would thus also allow you to get in more snuggles and quality time up to the big day.
Tip 2: Get to know the boarding facility staff beforehand
To help facilitate the boarding process, you can set up a date for your dog to meet the pet sitter at the boarding facility to ensure a smoother experience for everyone. The sitter can then get to be better acquainted with your dog’s personality and information, and this will also help to ensure that your dog eventually feels it is staying with someone it is familiar with, rather than a complete stranger. More importantly, it will help your dog understand from experience that you will eventually be back to get them.
Throughout the meetups, you can take a look at the boarding facilities, gain a better understanding of how the place operates, share emergency contacts, or have discussions with the pet sitter over any concerns you may have, such as that of separation anxiety or your pooch’s diet to name a few.
Tip 3: Help remind your dog of home
To help your dog remain calm and comfortable throughout the boarding experience, you can surround it with familiar items from home. For example, you can leave it with an article that can remind it of you, such as that of a blanket, shirt or pack of socks with your scent on it. Or an item that can help to make it comfortable in an unfamiliar surrounding, like its bed. Other potential items that can be sent to the boarders include that of your dog’s usual food (especially if it is on a specific diet), and its favourite treats and toys.
When it comes to food, we would highly recommend keeping your dog’s diet constant. This is a good precaution to take, as switching up your dog’s diet can potentially cause digestive system issues. Why is this so? It is down to the fact that your dog may already be feeling very nervous in their new surroundings. And adding another unknown factor, such as a different diet, simply adds on to the further tension it may already feel.
Tip 4: Calmness is key
Our canine companions are able to pick up on our emotions easily. If we feel anxious or nervous about leaving them at the boarders on the day itself, they too will reflect the same emotions. It is crucial to remain calm when we leave, project confidence, and to make the process feel as normal as possible for your dog, so that it feels comfortable and does not get worked up. Try to treat the process as if you are dropping it off at the groomer or vet!
Bonus Tip: Practicing crate training and socialisation skills will come in handy
Crate training can be essential in helping your puppy acclimatise to boarding. A crate can help your puppy relax when it is away from home, and also help it adjust to confinement. This is crucial, as during boarding, your puppy will likely spend quite a bit of time in a kennel at night.
It is also important for your dog or puppy to be well-socialised, so that it would be able to get along with the other canines problem-free at the boarding facility, or at least be used to the presence of other dogs, and not exhibit aggressive behaviour. If not, it can be a potentially stressful situation for them.
Your dog is ultimately part of your family, and we understand that leaving it behind while you go on your holiday can be a tough and challenging experience for all parties. But with the right preparation and caretakers, everything will be okay!