Authored by Alice Ross
One of the downsides of traveling to explore the world is leaving our furry friends behind for a period of time. While you have the option to take them with you, depending on where you’re planning to go, you don’t want them to get quarantined, do you?
On top of this, there’s the hassle of finding accommodation. No matter how charming our pet is, most hosts don’t accommodate animals. So a lot of people find themselves without much choice but to leave their pets behind.
The thing is, however, that in their place, develops worry, and an anxiety which sticks with us throughout our trip.
Managing the Anxiety of Leaving Your Pet Behind to Travel
Separation Anxiety Disorder
While, Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is normal for pets, particularly dogs, when their humans are away, humans ourselves actually suffer from the same.
If you’re not aware of this yet, this form of anxiety is a well-documented psychological condition wherein a person experiences extreme anxiety concerning separation from things they are familiar with. I’ve personally been through this several times.
Those who don’t have an idea what pet ownership is like might have thought I was having a co-dependent relationship with my dogs. Well, perhaps I do. I always miss my boys whenever I’m away, but more than that, I’m worried that they’re sad without my company.
While I know that they’re just probably asleep most of the time when I’m not home, I can’t still help but to worry. I just hate the thought of them staring outside the window all day waiting for me to come back.
Learning to Cope with SAD
Fortunately for me, I have learned to cope better with being away. Having peace of mind knowing that furry babies are in good hands helped me a lot.
I learned how to not swim against the current of the situation, and trust that they’re going to be fine and going to be in one piece even without my presence.
But in order for me to finally accept in this mindset, I always had to make sure that my dog receives the best care possible while I’m away. But how do I do this?
Depending on where I’m going and for how long, here are the options I always choose from:
Find a House and Pet Sitter
Thanks to today’s technology, finding someone to look after your pets has become a lot easier.
You’re able to hire a pet sitter from different sitters’ organizations like National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Pet Sitters International, and if there are others in your local area, that’s even better. The Rover app is an incredible resource for finding pet sitters, and you get daily updates through photos and videos.
Alternatively, you can hire a house sitter to look after your home while you are away (a lot of the time this is a free exchange of accommodation for the house sitter). A house sitter’s job is not only to look after your home, but also to look after your pets.
There are websites like TrustedHouseSitters where you can find someone to take over for you, and in return, you will give them a free accommodation to your home during the time you are away. These people are also travelers who are looking to save money on hotels, so it’s a win/ win.
I was kind of hesitant to use these websites at first – which is, I know, understandable – but then I learned that they do proper verification process on house sitters they allow on the website, which includes criminal background checks, I.D. verifications, and I.D document checks.
Book into a Pet Hotel
Another great option is a pet hotel, especially if you are not traveling long term. What I love about pet hotels is that they offer a lot of services.
As the name suggests, a pet hotel is a boarding for pets. Animal hotels are not simply tons of kennels where they will keep your pet in; instead, they’re lavish places to get your pet pampered.
Here they can play, do exercises, get groomed, and interact with other animals.
Consider Your Local Vet or Groomer
Did you know that you can actually leave your pet at your veterinary? Surely there’s no-one better qualified to look after your furry babies than a vet!
A lot of veterinarian clinics offer boarding services. If ever your pets get sick they will immediately be taken care of. On top of this, a veterinarian knows your pets and understands how to deal with them.
You can also check with your pets groomer if you have one. A lot of groomers also work at kennels or animal hospitals, and between grooming and nail clipping, they’ve already likely seen the pup at their most aggravated.
No matter which of the above options you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is to find the situation that is going work best for your pet; one that narrowly reminds them of their home environment.
If your pet is the nervous type, then they may not feel secure in an extremely social environment like pet hotels, so keep that in mind. Meanwhile, if your dog can be a little bit aggressive towards strangers, you may want to introduce them properly to your pet sitter before leaving for vacation.
Hopefully, this article helped you how you can keep yourself from worrying about your pet while you are away. Know that you are not alone, I’ve been there and I know it’s tough!
Now, your job is to make sure that they are safe and in the hands of people who will truly show them the same love as you do while you are gone.
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