Tips for leaving your dog while on holiday
12 JULY 2019
Leaving your dog in someone else’s care while you travel can be a tough but sometimes unavoidable decision. Whilst it’s true that this can be a stressful time for your dog, some careful planning and training in advance can help them to stay safe and relaxed.
Here are some of our top tips for leaving your dog while you're away:
Do your research
Whether you decide to leave your dog with a sitter, friends, family or in a boarding kennel, make sure they are with someone that you know and trust. Always check a kennel or sitter’s business reviews and take your dog for a visit before you depart on your trip.
This will not only give you a chance to get to know the person and check that you are happy with the facilities, it will also give your dog a chance to get acquainted and inspect their new environment. You will also need to make sure that your dog is covered by appropriate insurance for all eventualities.
Check their ID tag and microchip
Should your dog go missing whilst you are gone, their ID tag on their collar will be people’s first port of call. Consider temporarily changing their disc with the details of where they are staying whilst you are gone.
It is not advisable to change your dog’s microchip details to their temporary location, however you should check that these details are up-to-date with your current address and a phone number that you can always be reached on, even if abroad.
Stick to a routine
A lot is already going to be changing for your dog, so keeping their routine consistent will be really beneficial. Share your dog’s usual routine with whoever is looking after them, including when they usually have their walks, toilet breaks and meals.
Keep things familiar
Think about what your dog likes and if there are any items in particular that usually help them to relax. Their favourite bedding, treats and toys will help them to feel a little more at home during their stay.
Distract your dog
If you keep your dog’s brain busy, then it may take their mind off the fact that you are not around. There are lots of ways that you can use toys and food to create fun games and challenges for your dog. Experiment with what they like first and prepare some brain games for them to play whilst you are gone. While food is a good distraction be careful not to overfeed your dog.
If your dog is already crate trained, then it’s worth transporting their dog crate to their temporary new home. This can provide them with a safe and familiar space until they get used to their new environment.
If your dog doesn’t usually use a crate, you will need to teach them how by building up a positive association with using a dog crate first.
If you are concerned about separation anxiety in your dog, take a look at our advice on dealing with stress and separation anxiety. If your dog shows signs of being extremely stressed when left, consult your vet and seek advice from a canine behaviourist.