So, you’re finally off on that long-awaited vacation. A week or so with nothing to do but relax and soak in life is good for us all. But when you’re leaving a pet behind, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. Pets are members of the family, and while it’s not always feasible to take them on vacation, leaving them behind can be hard. Choosing the right pet sitter will make leaving much easier for you, but if you want to make your absence easier for your pet there are some extra steps you should take.
How to help your pet settle with their sitter
There is a range of steps you can take to help pets relax when you send them to a sitter during your vacation. The exact measures you may need to take will depend on your pet’s needs. However, these four steps will help most pets cope with anxiety from being away from you when they are in the care of a sitter or kennel.
- Prepare pets for transportation
The process of transportation is often the most stressful part of being moved for a pet, and it is certainly a moment of stress for pet sitters. You can make this process smoother and less stressful by preparing your pet for transportation. Update their microchip and ID information, if needed, and make sure their travel crate is comfortable and set up to provide security.
- Pack familiar items
One of the biggest issues with sending pets to a sitter or kennel is the change in environment. Research shows that domestic cats are highly sensitive to the environment. So, while it is not always possible to have a sitter care for your pet in your home, sending comforting items, like favorite bedding, toys, and even pieces of your clothing with your pet, can create a sense of familiarity and help them cope with unfamiliar surroundings.
When you provide food or medication for your stay, overestimate how much your pet will need for the time that you are gone. It is far better to have the sitter give you some supplies back when you return than to have them scrambling for more in the event of accidental loss, breakage, or delays in your travel plans. This is particularly important for long-term medication for conditions, such as diabetes or a heart murmur.
- Leave undramatically
The world can be daunting for our fur babies. This is why pets often take their lead from their owners. If you make a show of leaving, get upset, or fuss over your pets, they may start to get anxious and think something is wrong. While you know you are leaving for more than a few hours, they don’t. Leave as you normally would when you go to work to keep them calm and trust that the sitter will do what needs to be done to settle them if they get upset later.
If you have a pet with special needs, you may need to take more preparatory measures to keep them comfortable while you are away. But the best decision you can make is to choose a pet sitter you trust and let them do their job. Your pets will be happy to see you when you come home, so enjoy your vacation!