Leaving your pets behind, temporarily, suggestions based on personal experience
My published article in Animal Scene Magazine for the Month of August
If travelling is inevitable, our pets is one of our main concerns
Because we need to assure ourselves that they will be okey, while we are not with them. Indeed providing for them is not enough. In my case if I have my way, I really avoid out of town trips or vacation, simply because my dog Peso is not an ordinary dog, aside from his ailment, he is not the type who gets comfortable easily in my absence, so getting a nanny is a very scary thing..
Peso and PM as my featured dogs in my article
I came up with this article because I based it from my experience last February before my 3 days vacation in Singapore. That will be the first time for me to leave Peso after his series of surgery so I was having second thought proceeding even though my cousin who answered almost all my expenses prepared for it few months ago.
A month before my departure, I am already decided that I am going to leave Peso in his Veterinary Clinic, I believe it was the safest place to leave him for they know the case of my dog, and they know his behavior.
I bought him a "Calming Collar" believing it will help lessen his separation anxiety, prepared everything that he might need, including feeding instructions.
Peso did not eat for 3 days but consistently drunk his water. and urinating inside his cage which is a good sign that nothing bad developed in his ailment while I was away, and 3 days without complete meal didn't really have that bad effect at all. He only lost 1kg.
12 Suggestions for Pet owners specially those living alone but with Pets
My Personal Suggestions
In case a call of duty will require you to leave your pets behind temporarily or a vacation that you can't resist, here are my personal suggestions. (as published by Animal Scene Magazine, for benefit of those who can not access the magazine)
1. If possible bring your pets with you. If it’s a work assignment bring someone with you who can take care of your pets while you are doing your job.
2. Leave your pets to someone who is not just your friend but a pet lover too. You may trust your best friend but if she’s not a dog or cat lover how can she take care of your pets without giving her much trouble and worst much trouble for your pets. Same applies if you want to leave your pets to your parents and siblings.
3. Choose a Clinic that offers “Doggie Day Care”, but preferably choose one with Veterinarians and staff that already know your dog. In my case I chose VIP because although Peso hates the place and some people there especially the Veterinarians (at least he is familiar with them), I am confident that VIP is still the safest place to leave him.
4. Expect to spend more. Assuring your pet’s safety is not free, if you are thinking of leaving him in a dog hotel; you will spend more or less 500/day depending on the size or weight of your pets. Even if you will leave him to someone who is an excellent dog caretaker or a trustworthy friend, you will still need to provide your pets’ food, vitamins, and grooming accessories; also you may need to include calming collar to lessen his separation anxiety. Make sure that his anti-rabies vaccination is updated if not, spend for it before you leave, this is necessary because a playful unintentional bite to the one looking after him can be very fatal. He must be treated with Anti-tick and fleas because we can never know what they can acquire in their new surroundings.
5. List down everything from feeding instructions, vitamin intake schedule, grooming schedule, regular doggies stroll, how often he (your pet) poops and urinates, don’t forget to mention your pet’s behavior, is he the type to sneak around or love to run away and be chased? Because in that case you must alert the person who will look after him not to neglect your dog’s leash and collar. Give the list to those you chose to be left behind with your dogs.
6. Pack all your doggy accessories ahead of time and don’t forget to include his vaccination certificate.
7. As much as possible don’t volunteer for an Out of town Job assignment if you don’t have the means or the way to know with whom, or where to leave them. It is still a different story if you don’t have a choice.
8. If you think your pet has behavior problems and or the type to develop separation anxiety, correcting the problem before you leave will not help, instead have more patience with them, don’t scold them when they whine while you are preparing to leave (of course our Pets knew it) Just don’t add more trauma to them, if you truly love your pets you should know what I am trying to explain here.
9. If in case you found some suggestion here as too bothersome and extravagant, you always have a choice to just leave your pets at your home, and Just ask the God of Mercy, to spare your pets’ lives, that may they still be alive upon your return, and pray harder for yourself because only God knows what will happen inside your house with pets running the household for days.
10. Or if worst comes to worst and you have no other options left (no more time to call friends or just don’t have the cash to spend for other pet expenses) at least leave them sufficient fresh, clean water to drink. But I do hope none of us will come to this point. This is just too cruel for your pets and for you too because it will surely bother you wherever you go and whatever you do.
11. Always consider the number of days that you will be leaving your pets behind… as much as possible it should not be longer than 5 days or one week at the most. Or if your job really requires you to travel a lot, then maybe finding them a permanent loving home may never be a bad decision after all.
12. And lastly, don’t think of getting a pet if having one is not your life’s real passion. Anything or someone that we consider with less value will always be placed at the backseat of our priorities, and that’s really unfair.
Case of other Pet Owner maybe lighter than mine
Other pet owners’ situation can be a bit lighter as compared with mine because not all dogs have the same ailments as Peso, and not all dogs have the same behavior as Peso (which I don’t intend to change anymore because after all those surgeries and hardships that he experienced and considering his age, all he needs now is overflowing love and pampering from me).
Therefore, leaving their dogs behind temporarily can be just a trifling matter. The only thing they need to consider is to “Where” or with “WHOM” to leave their dogs, and once they found the most trustworthy, then they can enjoy a “worry free” vacation or work out of town in full concentration and efficiency.
(In case you have more suggestions not mentioned in my list please share them with your fellow pet lovers, again let’s propagate love for animals and responsible pet ownership.)
© 2010 Maria Cecilia