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Managing your separation anxiety when you’re away from your pets

man hugging his dogYou know how it goes. You’ve packed your bags, left home and, on the way to the airport, dropped your dog at the pet boarding kennel. Now, there’s nothing left to do except relax and enjoy your vacation. But, for the life of you, you can’t put your mind at ease. In fact, all you can do is think about the way your precious, loyal pet yelped, cried and howled as you walked away. And now, the many different ways in which they might be suffering are racing through your mind. Every five minutes, you check your phone, just in case someone’s calling to tell you something’s gone terribly wrong.

Separation anxiety affects owners – not just pets

There’s an awful lot of talk about separation anxiety in pets. But, there’s not so much discussion about what happens to owners. After all, it can be hard to admit that you’re not enjoying your amazing beachside holiday because you can’t stop thinking about your dog or cat, left behind in pet day care. But the fact is that separation anxiety can affect owners just as much as it can their furry, fluffy and feathered loved ones. So, what can you do?

How to decrease separation anxiety

Separation anxiety can feel hellish, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. Next time you have to leave your pet, try these techniques. They won’t work over night, but, with time, you’ll notice that you’re starting to calm down.

First and foremost, re-think your pet boarding strategy. More and more pet owners are hiring house or pet sitters, rather than sending their pets to boarding kennels. This approach allows you to leave your pet with someone you trust, in an environment that you know is familiar and comfortable. It can certainly help you have peace of mind.

Secondly, make yourself contactable. Whether you’re going camping in a remote national forest out of mobile range or kicking back in a five-star resort in Fiji, make sure that at least one person knows how to reach you. That way, if you don’t hear from anyone, you can be nearly 100% sure that there’s nothing to fret about.

Thirdly, if you are in range, keep in touch with your pet and whoever’s doing the looking after – be it a sitter, a pet boarding kennel or pet day care. These days, software like Skype and FaceTime allows you to see that your pet’s healthy and happy. It leaves less up to the wandering imagination, which can create catastrophic scenarios so easily.

Finally, try to enjoy your holiday! Breaks don’t come every day, so focus on eating, drinking, relaxing – or whatever else you’re doing – and make the most of it.

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