Tips for Finding Care When You Can’t Be There

Leaving your pet for an extended period of time can be rough on both of you. Here are some tips we put together for you and your dog detailing how to handle the temporary separation.


If you are using a pet-sitting professional:

Leave a piece of clothing that you’ve recently worn near where your pet sleeps as a reminder of you.

Display the name and phone number of your vet in a prominent place. Show it to the pet sitter before departing.

Place out appropriate food and water bowls for your pet’s use. Clean them beforehand.

Put all pet supplies in a specific area, so the sitter doesn’t have to search for leashes, food, or medications. Let the sitter know where you’ve stored those items.

If the sitter will be coming in the evening, hook up a timer light so he or she won’t have to walk into a dark house. It will be homier for your pet as well.

Select a neighbor to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone, and let him or her know that a pet sitter will be coming to your home while you’re away.

Provide a trusted friend or neighbor with a key to your house in case an emergency or inclement weather delays your pet sitter from making a scheduled visit. Make sure to give the pet sitter the name and number of your emergency contact.

If you are boarding your pet:

If possible, stop by the facility a few days before you leave to familiarize your dog with the new surroundings and to meet the staff that will be caring for him or her.

Pack any special diet or medications your dog might need during his or her stay, and remind staff about any allergies or phobias your pet may have.

Most dogs benefit from having familiar blankets and toys during their stay, so be sure to pack those (if the facility allows it).

Make sure the facility has your contact information and the phone number of your
veterinarian on file.

Hectic packing can trigger feelings of anxiety in your dog, so go about your business as calmly and casually as possible. Gather your pet’s boarding supplies and have them in the car prior to leaving—to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary stress and anxiety.

When dropping your dog off at the kennel, keep it low key and don’t be overly affectionate or emotional, which could tip your pet off that he or she will be without you for a while. Simply hand the leash over to the staff person, who will offer up a distraction while you quietly slip

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