There might come a time in your dog’s life when you have to go away on a work trip or a holiday and you can’t take your dog with you. This happens a lot more often than you’d realise and it’s normal. Sometimes you can pile your dog into your car and drive for hours to your final destination, other times it’s not going to be as easy. In many parts of the world there are dog hotels or even kennel services that allow you to leave your dog with them for a few days while you’re gone and then pick them up when you return. The other option is to leave your dog with someone you know and trust – like a family member or a friend. But even they need to be certain they have everything down and know how to look after your dog the right way. Dogs have routines and schedules and it’s important to keep to those routines and schedules, because unlike humans they aren’t going to adjust to change that well. Especially if it’s only for a few days. So here are some things to keep in mind when picking someone to babysit for you.
Pick the right sitter: Make sure that the person you entrust your dog with is someone you know well and someone who is familiar to your dog. You don’t want them spending the whole time together trying to get comfortable with each other. Plus, your dog and your friend need to be able to balance each other out and handle the schedule you’ve already put in place. A hyperactive dog will work well with someone younger and capable of actually taking the dog for regular walks and runs through the day.
Finding the right location: The best thing to do is to ask your friend to move into your house while you’re gone, because it’s familiar to your dog and that would be more comfortable for them. But if you’re moving your dog into your friend’s house, you need to familiarize your dog with the new environment so he can adjust to it at a later stage.
Explaining everything: Your friend needs to be 100% comfortable and on the ball with the schedule. The walking times, the food schedule, the requirements of your dog and so on and so forth. Leave emergency numbers with them so they know exactly who to call. Leave notes with everything that needs to be paid attention to. Whatever your dog needs, your friend needs to know as well. In case of dietary requirements and medication, make it very clear.
Prepare your dog: Separation anxiety is very common in dogs and if you surprise them with this vanishing act all of a sudden, it could be difficult for your dog and the sitter. Make sure that you find a way to ease them into it so that they get comfortable with the new person, but miss you just enough to be happy when you come home.