With the increasing reduction of lockdown measures, it’s possible to start planning summer holidays with relative confidence! Part of that is making a decision about what to do with your dog, and if you’re one of the many people who got a pet in lockdown, this may be the first time you’ve had to face questions like these.
Today we’re taking a look at the best ways you can leave your dog with a sitter, to make sure your dog can enjoy the experience without anxiety about you and you can enjoy your holiday without anxiety about him!
Finding a Sitter
The ideal dog sitter is a friend or a family member who you already know and trust and perhaps more importantly, who your dog already knows and trusts! Leaving them in the care of a total stranger can be stressful for even the most placid dog, so if you can find someone who they’re already familiar with, that’s the best option.
Otherwise, use the National Association for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers to find a reliable professional.
Preparing Your Dog
It can be big a wrench for your dog if you leave them behind when they’re used to having you around a lot – and many dogs have got used to having their owners there all the time as a result of the pandemic.
It’s a good idea to train your dog so they’re accustomed to being left and be confident that you’ll come home. Start small, rewarding them for ‘staying’ while you’re still in the same room. Later, progress to leaving the room but not the house, and then leaving them alone at home for short periods. This will help prevent separation anxiety, which can be a real problem for dogs.
Preparing Your Sitter
Whether they’re a friend, family member or professional, it’s worthwhile to have some introductory sessions with you both present so your dog can get used to being walked, fed and cared for by a new person. This is a chance to explain your dog’s routine, and provide important information about vets, insurance and other key concerns.
Preparing Your Home
Before you leave for your holiday, make sure your home is left safe and tidy for your dog and his sitter – make sure any harmful foods are sealed away safely, and you’ve stocked up on supplies, from toys and treats to food. A sudden change of food is one of the causes of diarrhea and vomiting in dogs so making sure there’s more than enough left to cover your trip is one of the first things you should check!