During this season of family vacations, following is a reminder partially taken from a post last summer on how to prepare our pets for our time away:
Generally speaking, a vacation is an exciting time for humans. This is not always the case for the animals of the family, however. For some pets, their human being away for any length of time is a sad, lonely, perhaps anxiety-ridden experience.
Each animal reacts differently to time away from their primary human guardians, and their reaction can vary depending on the arrangements made for their care. Preparing for a vacation means preparing our animals as well.
For some, the “you have fun, but behave yourself” talk is appropriate, along with your reassurance that you will return soon.
Some animals will benefit from a gentle explanation that you’ll be gone for a few days, then a detailed explanation of how they will be cared for.
Some animals are not concerned with their own arrangements as much as knowing that YOU will be safe and that you will return happily and refreshed, and they will likely want to know all about your adventure when you return.
For all animals, I believe it is helpful to explain that we love being home with them, but that it is important for humans to get away from home occasionally.
No matter which of the above scenarios best fits your animal companions, always finish your conversation with your beloved pets by envisioning a wonderful, joy-filled homecoming with snuggles, praise, and perhaps a small treat.
When the suitcases come out, your animals know that something is about to change in their world. Most will respond more positively when they are brought into the experience so take the time to communicate with them and do so positively and with joy. And most of all, remember that your pets pick up on your energy so remain calm and confident that your time away from them will be pleasant for all concerned.
Vacations are exciting, and don’t have to be feared by our animals. Help them by communicating your intentions, and they will be joyfully waiting for you when you return!