You’re about to go on a holiday, and you couldn’t be more excited! You’ve been planning this trip for ages, and you want your holiday to be as perfect as possible! Unfortunately, there is one thing that is holding you back from complete bliss-your precious pup. You are already dealing with separation anxiety when you leave for just a few hours-how will you deal with it when you can’t bring them along on your holiday?
Luckily, there are ways you can prepare your dog for your departure. In fact, we have put together five great tips that will help you calm your dog while you are enjoying a much-needed break away from home.
Desensitizing your dog through a routine
If your dog panics when you leave, desensitizing them to the actual act is one way to ease separation anxiety. You want your dog to get used to the act of being left alone. Start desensitizing them to your absence by walking to your door and simply opening it without leaving. Close it and walk away. Stop and do something normal for a couple of minutes, like looking at your phone or putting dishes away, before you go on to the next step. Next, walk over to your door, leave, and close the door behind you. Come back immediately. Again, perform a small task. Finally, walk to your door and simply turn the knob without actually opening the door. Release it and walk away. Do this a couple of times per day until your dog feels better about your departure.
You can also add on some pre-departure clues while you train your dog to anticipate your absence. This could be putting on your shoes, picking up your car keys, or putting on your jacket. Once your dog gets used to this particular routine, they won’t feel as anxious when you have to leave them to go on a holiday.
Give them their own space to enjoy
Your dog needs their own space to call home, whether you are home all the time or away for work or other issues. However, having their own comfortable space to retreat to is even more important while you are gone. Make sure your pup has the following items:
A comfortable dog bed– your dog will settle down easier when they have a comfortable dog bed that fits their size and weight.
Toys to play with-
Being surrounded by their favorite toys while you are gone will make your dog feel safer. Kids aren’t the only creatures who enjoy comfort blankets and toys!
Automatic dog feeder- A dog food feeder that automatically dispenses food at a certain time can be of great comfort to a dog with separation anxiety.
Use essential oils
Dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than humans, due to their having 40 times more scent receptors than we do. Aromatherapy has been tested in dogs for decades, with amazing results. Because of their sensitivity to smells, it is important to dilute any essential oils that you use for your dog. Diluting the oils prevents your dog’s sense of smell from being overwhelmed. The following essential oils are great for dogs who have separation anxiety issues: lavender, bergamot, frankincense, ylang ylang, geranium rose, rose damask, sweet marjoram, and spikenard. While you are gone, use a diffuser to dispense the oils to your dog during the day and night.
Hire a pet sitter while you are gone
You’ll obviously have to hire someone to take care of your dog while you are gone, so why not choose a person who can come to your home? Your dog may do much better if they can stay on their home turf while you are on holiday. If you will only be gone for a few days, you may do fine with someone who comes to the house a few times a day to interact with your dog. If you are gone for longer, consider paying someone to stay in your home day and night. Your dog will have companionship while you are gone, and you will feel better about leaving them!
Board your dog at a kennel
You may also choose to board your dog at a local kennel while you are on holiday. Ask family and friends for recommendations on local kennels. Tour the facilities and talk to the workers about their routines. Bring your dog in beforehand to let him or her get a feel for the place. Your dog won’t have a chance to miss you if they are having too much fun with other dogs in a doggy day care setting!