How to Prepare Your Dog Before You Travel Without Them


"Dogs are a member of your family. Therefore, it can be challenging for both of you when you go on vacation. Fortunately, with some preparation, you can make things easier for your dog. Read on to learn what you can do before you leave on vacation to prepare your dog to be without you. According to a U.S. Pet Travel Study 74% of pet owners spend part of their vacations fretting about the pets they've left behind. Concerns include the physical well-being of your dog and the emotional state of mind. Ideally you will have someone care for your dog in a familiar environment. If you cannot, there are things you can do such as send your dog to a pet hotel with some familiar objects."

Decide Where Your Dog Will Stay

The first thing you need to do is ensure your dog is well cared for while you’re gone. This could mean asking a member of the family or a neighbor for help, getting a house or dog sitter or deciding to book a pet hotel. Whatever option you choose, you must inform the relevant parties about all your dog’s needs, routines, and quirks. Additionally, you should provide them with all your dog’s necessary health information, including their vet’s contact info. You should also settle on a pre-authorized amount for any vet care. If for some reason, the vet care is going to exceed this amount, you should direct the caregiver to contact you first.

Options where your pet can stay in your home have obvious advantages such as:

  • Familiarity of surroundings
  • No other pets
  • Diet stability (same food, fed at hopefully the same times)

Spend Some Extra Time With Your Dog

It may seem silly, but putting in a little extra one-on-one time with your dog will help both of you while you’re away. So take them for an extra walk, spend a little longer throwing the ball at the park or just get in some extra snuggles. Just make them feel loved.

Pay a Visit to the Sitter or Hotel

Your dog must get to know the person or people they’ll be with while you’re away. So you’re going to visit the sitter or hotel, so your dog becomes familiar with the environment and the people. The more you visit, the more comfortable your dog will be and the easier it will be for them to be separated from you.

Purchase a Few New Toys

Toys are a great way to keep a dog occupied. Therefore, by buying your dog a few new toys before you leave on vacation, you’ll be giving him something to do that will keep his mind off missing you. Additionally, you can help your dog bond with their sitter by encouraging them to use the new toys to play with your dog.

Send Your Dog to the Sitter With Familiar Items

If you’re having a dog sitter come to your home, then you can skip this step. However, if you’re sending your dog outside your home, it’s a good idea to give them some familiar items to bring with them. Familiar objects will make your dog feel more at ease in unfamiliar surroundings. For example, their bed will smell like you and your home, which can bring him comfort. Other items that you can send him with include:

  •  One of your shirts or a pair of your socks.
  • Your dog’s favorite food or treats.
  • A blanket with your dog’s scent on it.

Exercise Your  Dog Before You Leave

Exercising your dog, so they expend energy will help them remain calm through changes. So before you pack up, take your dog for a long walk, play fetch, etc. An exercised dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog will be less anxious.

Use Calming Tools

If your dog exhibits anxiety symptoms, you may want to consider investing in some calming tools to use on the day of your departure. Calming tools include things like dog calming pheromone products, ThunderShirts, or calming supplements. Some owners have also reported having success with CBD treats and oil. However, before you try a new supplement, you should consult your vet.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

While it may be difficult for you to leave your beloved dog, you must stay calm. Your dog can often pick up on your emotions, and if you’re feeling anxious, they will feel anxious as well. However, if you act confident and comfortable, your dog will act and feel the same.

Have a Great Trip

You’re going to miss your dog, and your dog is going to miss you. However, if you prepare well in advance, it will be much easier for both of you. So, stay calm, plan ahead, and you’ll weather your temporary separation with ease.