Steps For Creating a Stress-Free Trip Away From Your Pet

Dog in SuitcaseAlthough it is ideal for you to travel with doggie or kitty in tow, some situations just won’t allow for it.  Maybe it’s a business trip to meet with potential clients or a once-in-a-lifetime excursion that isn’t pet friendly.  Whatever the reason, if you have to leave Fido and Fluffy at home and you want to make sure that your pet's time apart from you is as comfortable and safe as possible.  Moi? I rarely take long trips because I can't bear to be away from my girls. On those rare occasions when my husband and I take a trip together, I have my wonderful friend and trainer, Deanna, stay over. She's such a great dog-and-catsitter, and they adore her so much that when we get home, it's as though we never left! So, how do you manage?  It’s simple, really.  Just follow my guidance and you will be reunited safely and soundly with your beloved pet before you know it.

There are some steps that you can follow that can help ease your anxiety about leaving your dog or cat behind so you can recharge your batteries or land that Rock Star account that takes your business to a whole new level economically.  Here are some things to consider:

  1. If you'd rather not kennel your pet and you're unable to find a petsitter, enlist the help of a trusted family member, friend or neighbor to stay at your home to care for your pet while you are away.  Be sure to give them written instructions explaining your pet’s routine and feeding and water needs, and provide them with your cell phone number in order to check in with you with updates or questions.
  2. Stock up on all the supplies your pet will need while you are away.  This includes pet food, treats, and medications.  Make sure that a self-watering dish is made available to your dog or cat and that the person caring for them knows how to fill it.
  3. Create a list with your Veterinarian’s name, address, and telephone number on it so that he or she can be contacted in the event of an emergency.  Also keep a pet carrier near the door just in case the unexpected does happen and your dog and cat has to be evacuated from your home.
  4. Make sure your pet is properly vaccinated and that he or she has had a recent check-up by your Veterinarian.  Also keep your dog and cat’s tags up-to-date and leave information about its microchip provider if applicable.  A frightened pet can easily dart out the door and be gone in seconds.
  5. Keep some of your pet’s favorite things around to lie on and play with.  You want them to feel comfortable and secure until you return.  You also don’t want them to be too curious and get into something they shouldn’t have.
  6. If your care provider won't be home much, at least schedule a dog walker to take your dog or dogs out midday to allow them to run and play. Cats don't require quite as much company, but they should never be left alone for days and days. It's just, plain, not nice! 
  7. Bring back a small gift for your pet.  This will help smooth things over between the two of you when you return.  Don’t forget to buy a token of appreciation for your elected caregiver as well.

A trip away from home doesn’t have to be stressful.  A few days worth of preparation can help your pets deal with their separation anxiety and ease your worries as well.  From choosing a person to look after your dog or cat to emergency preparedness, you can cover it all by following the steps on this list.