Traveling Without Your Pet?
There are many logistics to think about when traveling without your pet, be it for vacation or another reason.
I’ve seen plenty written about preparing your pet by doing things such as deciding where they will stay (or will they have a sitter?), spending extra time with them before leaving, planning for adequate exercise, etc. What I haven’t seen is much related to making the transition and time away more smooth by communicating with your pets ahead of time and during your trip.
It’s important to start the communication about two weeks in advance of leaving. Remember your pets first language is through images, so be sure to give them a visual in your mind as well as talk to them verbally.
Here are some ideas to prepare your furry loved ones (and yourself). Tell them…
When you are leaving - you can give them a visual of dates on a calendar (the current date and the date you will leave).
When you will return - show them how many days you will be gone by flashing a sun then a moon to represent 1 day (repeat this for each day you will be gone). Note: When you tell them what time you’ll be back, it’s a good idea to over-estimate your return time to account for possible travel delays.
How it affects them - Who will take care of them? Will they be staying in their own home or somewhere else?
What your expectations are for them - with multiple animal companions, perhaps you want them to take care of each other, or you may simply expect them to behave well (be nice and be good).
What job you’d like them to do while you’re gone (or ask what job they’d like) - watch the house or comfort the sitter by curling up with them.
What to expect when you arrive home - they will receive a favorite treat or lots of snuggle time.
Just as important, remember to ask your pet…
What questions they have for you - ease their minds and ensure nothing gets overlooked.
To share concerns and/or what they’re feeling - this gives an opportunity to express and resolve any concerns they may have.
While you’re away, check in with your pets by…
Using the invisible string to connect heart to heart (concept by Patrice Karst in the book, The Invisible String).
Connecting through video or phone call so they can see you and/or hear your voice.
It’s been said that a little preparation goes a long way. In the case of traveling without your pets, it can help reduce or even prevent anxiety, increase the likelihood of good pet behavior while you’re gone and will give you peace of mind!
If you want help preparing your pet for upcoming trips, schedule a Fur Baby Speaks experience!