When you are going away for a day or more and have to leave your pet home alone, this may not be the easiest thing. My grandparents, for example, have a very difficult time with this. My grandparents love their dog dearly, and when they are going away on a trip, tensions run high– my grandmother is an emotional wreck, while my grandfather’s worry and concern can be seen through the extensive, ridiculously detailed schedule he leaves me which specifies the times in which I need to feed Nikki, take her outside for a pee, take her outside for a poo, play fetch with her, and the note always wraps up with the reminder, “Make sure you change her water constantly”. I tend to laugh at these lists as they are so absurd in their detail, but I can’t blame my grandparents, for it is all out of love for their dog. Through these experiences with my grandparents and my own experiences, I have learned a few things about how to travel away from your dog and to go about your days worry-free. A few tips when you have to leave your pet home alone:

1. Hire a Dog Watcher or a Sitter that you Trust

Whether you call a dog sitter you found in the local newspaper or your best friend, find someone reliable (preferably someone dog-oriented) who can handle the job without a problem. Talk to them before you go away and tell them if the dog requires any special treatment, such as shots or teeth cleaning. If you want, write down the dog’s schedule indicating when she has to be fed, taken out, etc. so that the sitter has a go-to guide (a guide, not a novel) if they need it. Also, make sure the sitter has your contact information in case of an emergency.

2. Prepare All Food Items and Materials Ahead of Time

Make sure you are stocked up on dog food, wet and dry, and if your dog has any health issues, make sure all of her medical supplies and medicine are in full supply. Also, make sure that your dog has a jar of treats (for when she is good!) and an abundance of toys. What else can keep your dog preoccupied like a shiny, squeaky toy?

3. Think About your Dog, But Try not to Worry!

This is key. You may spend your whole trip in mental agony over the thoughts of what your dog could be doing, where she could be, or what could have happened to her. Relax! Know that your dog is home safe under the close watch and care of someone you trust.

It is never a good feeling leaving your dog behind, and it may feel like an eternity as you are patting her for the last time before you depart on your trip, but if you follow these tips, you’ll have nothing to worry about, and when you return home, you’ll be greeted at the door with a warm hug to see that she is still the same happy, adorable dog she always was.

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