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Pet Anxiety: When You Go on Vacation

Bye, bye Fido. We’ll be back soon! This is the time of year that many families take vacations. Here are some tips to help your pet cope when the family leaves him for a few days. If your pet is anything like ours, it hates to see you leave. Those sad puppy eyes always grip us as we are leaving, and we all feel incredibly guilty. But summertime is time for a few days away, and taking pets along isn’t always an option. How can you make the transition easier for your pet?

One thing my family does is introduce a pet sitter to the pets before we leave. My mom will write up instructions and notes for the sitter. Simply by keeping almost the same routine for food and visits to the great outdoors, your pet will be less stressed while you are gone. Pets will also be less stressed if they meet the sitter before you leave. That way, it will not be a stranger walking into their home, but rather somebody that it has already met before. If you have someone watching your pets, meet with him or her to introduce the pets, walk through all the instructions and show the person where your pets’ favorite toys and yummy treats are.

Another good way to keep some pets happy while you are gone is to leave something with your scent around the house. Pets, especially cats and dogs, are very scent-oriented. Smelling something you’ve used, such as a shirt, blanket or towel, can give them comfort. While this may work for some pets, it may not work for others.

If your dog or cat suffers from extreme pet anxiety, ask your vet about other options.

What have you done to make your pets relax while you’re away? Share your ideas.

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