Leaving your dog for holidays or extended periods can be very difficult to do. Whilst you are preparing for an exciting time away, your dog may not have the same view of the change ahead. Early preparation is key to finding the right place for your dog where he can be happy and content in your absence. A lot of dogs, once they’ve stayed somewhere a few times will know where they are going and enjoy the break. Some dogs are fine in a good kennel whilst others need more home comforts to help them feel more secure as they wait for your return. There are lots of options nowadays from dog and home sitters who will come to your home, to exclusive pet hotels where your dog can have treatments and spa luxuries whilst in residence. Make sure that they are proper businesses however, with insurance and good reviews from other dog owners to ensure your dog will be safe and well in their care.
When it comes to the actual goodbye, whilst it’s very tempting to want to give your dog that last cuddle and attention, try instead to give them positive encouragement in both your voice, body language and actions. Try asking the person who will be looking after them to give them something fun and interesting to do once they’ve calmed down from your departure. The first day can be hard for them as like us, dogs take time to settle into a new environment. They may not want to eat and may mope and cry but a good carer will try to help them as much as possible. Often bringing an item from home such as a familiar toy or blanket can give some reassurance in a new environment and will help them settle.
Check in and find out how your dog is doing whilst you are away. There can be little signs and symptoms that perhaps the carer would talk to you about when you got home, but you know your dog best and can decide what action is needed even at a distance.
Coming back home to your dog is one of the best things about the end of a break away but don’t be surprised if your welcome is bypassed by your dog’s determination to hop in the car and back to his life at home. Once re-established at home, dogs are often more receptive to a proper hello.