How to Prepare Your Dog Emotionally When You Travel

Published 11-16-2021

Dogs are essential members of any family; that is why leaving them behind can be very hard, especially when you are traveling great distances or to different parts of the world. Getting your canine prepared emotionally before you travel is essential for decreasing stress and anxiety during vacation time.

The preparations for leaving your animal behind will vary according to their temperament and age. Understanding how your dog thinks and learns will help you get them ready for your departure. Here are some tips to prepare your dog before you travel.

Small Shih Tzu is sitting on the top of antique suitcases

Decide Where to Leave Your Dog

Before you can prepare your dog for traveling, you need to consider where they will be while you are gone. If a friend or relative lives close by and loves dogs, leaving your pet with them is the best option. However, if no one in your family or social circle can keep your dog while you go away on vacation, then it is time to look at a boarding facility.

Another place owners opted for is boarding kennels. If this is an option, take your dog to play at the kennel or animal shelter where they will be staying. Before choosing a kennel, please make a list of all the facilities within proximity of you that have good reviews and check their fees, training modules, and services they offer.

Pet Hotels can be an excellent option for dog boarding when you find yourself away from home. Because they often offer activities and socialization with other pets, your canine will be having a lot of fun. Finding a pet hotel nearby is accessible, but choosing the best one for your pet might not be.

Spend Some Quality Time Together

Before leaving your dog for an extended period, make sure to spend time with them. Spend at least an hour doing activities they enjoy like walks, games, or even grooming sessions. You can also learn more about your pet by asking them questions and getting to know what they like and dislike because this will help you prepare emotionally for leaving them behind.

Groom Your Dog Before You Leave

When preparing your dog emotionally before you travel, think about the activities you do together that make them feel comfortable. For example, grooming is an excellent way to relax your dog, especially if you can brush them for at least 15 minutes, making it a tremendous pre-travel activity.

Don't change the routine

It is vital to keep your dog's routines the same before traveling to avoid feeling uncomfortable. For example, feed your dog at the exact times every day and play with them in the same rooms within your house. Also, try to maintain any other schedules you have for your pet, like walks or exercise sessions.

Keeping their routine consistent will be easier for them to adjust when you are gone because they will know what to expect.

Meet with the sitter or boarding facility

Before going on vacation, get your dog used to the pet sitter or kennel by dropping in during regular business hours. Introduce yourself and your animal to employees, and make sure they understand both of your needs while you are away on holiday. It is also a good idea to leave a list of phone numbers like a veterinarian or a friend who can help should an emergency arise. Finally, remember to make all the necessary arrangements before leaving your dog behind because you want them to have a safe and fun experience while you are away.

Before going on vacation, it is essential to be emotionally prepared for getting your dog accustomed to life without you around. Taking some of the mentioned tips should help lessen the stress of your departure and make your trip more enjoyable. 

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.