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Friday, June 2, 2023

Do Dogs Feel Abandoned When You Go on Vacation?

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When you’ve planned a vacation, it’s normal to have many thoughts and feelings about leaving.

Between the excitement and planning, you may have thought of everything. Perhaps you’ve considered where you’re going to leave your pup while you’re away.

You’ve found several reliable pet hotels. You’ve gone for an in-person tour. You’ve even made sure to order a few extra services to ensure he’s well cared for when you’re away.

But do dogs feel abandoned when they get dropped off at the facility? Many dogs enjoy their time at various boarding locations.

With new smells, people, and plenty of affection, dogs will spend their days playing and interacting with others.

Just like children attending overnight camps will temporarily miss their parents at times, it’s similar for dogs.

Although there’s plenty of fun and excitement happening throughout the day, there may be times when your dog misses you and the familiarity you bring.  

Dogs Use Your Emotional Response as a Guide

Dogs are receptive animals with a unique ability to match the emotions of their owners.

If you’re feeling anxious or worried about their stay at the facility, your dog will pick up on that.

Alternatively, if you’re calm and confident in their visit, you’ll more likely see a confident pup at drop-off.

Dogs will always miss their owner, mainly because they have a solid emotional attachment to you.

However, this emotional attachment doesn’t mean that your dog will feel abandoned during its stay at the facility. 

To help eliminate any anxiety or worry you may have, consider the following tips:

Visit the Staff and Caregivers at the Facility

Leaving your dog is never easy, but it can be worsened if you don’t know who’s going to make sure she’s receiving enough love throughout the time you’re gone.

By arranging a meet-and-greet (with or without your dog), you’ll get a better idea of the personality behind the business.

Spend a few minutes watching how they interact with clients, dogs, or other customers. Note how they handle your pup or communicate with them.

By building that confidence in who you’ve selected, you’ll be less likely to be anxious when you drop off your dog. 

Exercise Your Pup Well Before Drop Off

Burning off extra energy is about more than tiring out your dog; it’s about helping him feel relaxed with the upcoming changes.

Whether it’s an extra-long walk, a tiring game of fetch, or a long run at the dog park, burning his energy will help him remain calm throughout the day. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog. 

Mention any behavioral issues to staff before arrival

If you happen to know that your dog suffers from separation anxiety, giving the pet hotel a heads up can make a world of difference for both you and your dog.

Facilities are used to dealing with all types of canine personalities, from super happy to highly distraught. They will likely have recommendations for an easier drop-off, depending on your dog’s specific needs.

Always ask the staff for tricks or advice when dealing with your pup if you’re unsure how the dog is going to respond to being left. 

Talk to your vet about calming supplements

Your vet is the first person to talk about any separation, anxiety, or depression related to being left in new locations.

These discussions are significant if you notice behavioral changes after pick up that seem out of character for your dog’s personality.

In addition, your pup’s vet may be able to recommend a few different supplements designed to alleviate anxiety and help your dog with the negative impact of feeling depressed. 

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