Animal Care 101: Veterinarian Tips

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Going Away For The Holidays: A Care Guide For Dog Owners

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If you're planning a holiday getaway to see family or friends but can't bring your faithful pet dog with you, you need to make sure you do what you can to properly prepare your pet for the separation. Your dog will need their physical needs met, but they will also need to feel confident that nothing is wrong and that you will return. This care guide can help your dog adjust to alternative care and interruption in routine as smoothly as possible. 

1. Spend a good amount of time with your dog.

Don't let the busyness of the season divide you from your owner duties. If possible, spend even more time with your dog than normal. Play more together, go on walks, and really take some time to enjoy the bond you share. Dogs gain confidence in their connections to the rest of the "pack," so this quality time helps your dog to stay calm and happy in the days leading up to your departure, instead of getting nervous.

2. Stay calm.

Dogs pick up on fears and anxiety. You should approach the separation with a "no big deal" attitude because a dog will sense distress if you are crying, saying exaggerated goodbyes, or otherwise acting abnormally. 

3. Practice.

Your dog should have spent some time away from your already. Ideally, they would have spent time away from you at the place where they will be spending the holiday. For example, if you took your dog to a daycare, you should consider using the same place again. Your dog will be more familiar with the place and will have learned that you usually return. 

Socialize your dog with other dogs and allow your dog time with friends and family members to practice manners and responding to people besides just you. 

4. Pack familiar items from home.

Your dog should feel as at home as possible. This means that you should take care to pack items like bedding, favorite toys, and even the type of treats that your dog likes the best to help them feel more at home. These items are from the "den," and will help a dog get used to a new environment faster. 

5. Pack some new toys.

New toys are a great time-passer for dogs. They need sometime new to do while you're away. Consider getting treat puzzles or another "smart" toy that requires more thinking than a simple chew. 

For more ideas, speak with your local pet boarding services