Spring Break is in full swing here at Holiday Barn! For most of our guests, that means that their human family has packed up and gone away somewhere and they don’t get to go with them! Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
The anxiety of it all can be very scary for a dog. They can’t ask where you’re going or when you’re coming back! These feelings are especially exaggerated if you dog suffers from separation anxiety, but the truth is, most of our guests relax and become perfectly content after their family’s departure.
If your dog becomes noticeably anxious when the suitcases come out of storage and the packing begins, there are some things you can do to make it easier on him.
First of all, calm yourself! Your dog is very sensitive to your feelings and if he gets a clue from you that something is “wrong” with this situation, he too will become uneasy. Have a system in-place that assures you have covered everything ahead of time: Feeding instructions, walking habits, health issues, emergency numbers, etc., so that you don’t have to fret by thinking you may have forgotten something, or by nervously trying to get it all done in the last minute. Talk cheerfully and calmly to your dog and don’t make a big deal out of saying goodbye.
Secondly, you can desensitize your dog to typical “travel” clues… If suitcases are the culprit, bring them out in the open and leave them sitting around for a few weeks before leaving. Go so far as to pretend to pack the suitcases a few days before, and then sit back down in front of the TV. By doing these things, you have diminished the perceived threat as far as your pet is concerned. If you still feel that the suitcase is the “evildoer”, you could attempt to sneak them into the car before it’s time to leave.
Thirdly, do a trial run. We often encourage first time customers to bring their pets to Holiday Barn for at least one night several days before the actual travel time. The very first visit to a new doggie resort may be intimidating, but if they have been there before, it erases much of the uncertainty they may be feeling. The dogs who participate in our doggie day care in Richmond, VA (we call them Campers!) are the BEST boarders because this is their “home away from home”! They have no adverse feelings whatsoever! In fact, they’re probably thinking, “…this is going to be FUN!”
As stated before, the majority of our guests are perfectly content when their family leaves the premises. Despite all the “drama” they may have displayed in the lobby, they happily trot back to their room in anticipation of a new and exciting adventure!