Now that we can travel freely again, a top concern among dog owners is how our dogs will behave while we are away. The two-year pandemic has kept many of us homebound and in the company of our dogs 24/7, and as the world eases back to normalcy, our furry buddies are expectedly anxious.
Recently, I traveled for the first time since pandemic restrictions were lifted. Call me naive or stupid, but I did not think it will affect my dogs that much, because they used to be pretty chill about me leaving home pre-pandemic.
Before the pandemic struck, I traveled a lot. Although my dogs would show sadness each time I packed a suitcase, there was never any trouble. It helped that family members worked from home, and I had househelp to be with my pack. Most importantly, my dogs knew that I would always return home.
This time, though, things were fairly different. None of the dogs seemed to understand when I started packing my suitcase, which was fine. However, I learned that the evening I was away, they were all waiting for me by the window. Worse, they were barking incessantly at any person or any car that passed by. This went on for the next two days. Family members had to step in and put them to bed in a closed bedroom so that they would get the message that they needed to go to sleep and stop waiting.
Needless to say, I felt distraught and worried hearing about this. I was anxious the whole time that I was away.
Looking back, I think I could have handled this better if I prepared my dogs gradually for our short separation. I must admit that in the past two years or so, I rarely left home. My weekly trips to the grocery lasted no longer than an hour, and I have hardly been away longer than a few hours.
To readers who are planning to travel and leave their dogs back at home, make adequate preparations to lessen their separation anxiety before you leave them. By doing so, you’ll ease their worries and hopefully, yours as well while you’re away.
2 thoughts on “Prepare your pooches before you travel”
I can SO relate to this … we had a chance for an overnight stay with my brother in law and his family. Around 11pm that night, our security camera flagged an alert on our phones about movement and a loud noise. When my husband checked, Einstein (our mini-schnauzer), could be seen on camera, howling. 😦 He sounded so distressed and sad, we had to wake up a household member to get him and cuddle him to sleep. When we got home the next morning, he was so happy and relieved we were back, but then he was so anxious about being left alone, he was literally walking at our heels – a veritable shadow! We now make sure we talk to our dogs before we leave (even if just for a lunch out or a grocery run) telling them that we will be back soon. 🙂
Makes you feel so guilty, right? Now I’m the one getting anxious just thinking of future travels!