Guest Blog - Staying Home for the Holidays?

I am often asked what can keep dogs and other pets happy especially when their families go on holiday. In my experience maintaining a stable routine can minimise pet anxiety. I’d like to share a couple of stories that show you what I mean.

Take ‘Henry’. One of our favourite charges is Henry the Bassett Hound, a sensitive soul with a deep attachment to his human Mum. Detecting the slightest sign that something new and different is happening, or worse still that Mum is preparing for a trip he gets anxious. He stops eating properly, he gets an upset stomach and in effect shows signs of what we recognise as separation anxiety.

Over the years, Wendy his owner has found that keeping Henry at his own home, eating his own home served food, is better for him than in kennels or even at a petsitter’s home. The sitter knows his routine, his medication regimen and stays tactile and friendly until he relaxes. An at home sitter is the best solution for Henry’s challenge when Mum goes away.

Years ago our very own Spaniel ‘Dolly’ suffered in a similar way. On the outside she was lively and friendly, but underneath that happy exterior she was nervous. She adored the children in our family and would fight for our attention. In fact any dog visiting us was given warning signals to stay clear. Worse still, on the two occasions we put Dolly in kennels and dramatic changes occurred.

The first trip was two weeks long, and on our return we found a dog who had lost weight and was mournful, even weeks after the holiday. Apart from the fact that her food had changed, her environment had changed, no doubt she was also upset because we had left her. The next trip we were away for five weeks… We returned to an emaciated dog who couldn’t bark. It took her a full two months to get back her happy demeanour to say nothing of her voice! After that we always found a petsitter.  This became even more important as she grew older.

When I started building our network of housesitters Dolly’s story inspired me. By giving owners access to sitters online, and best practice guidelines we facilitate a practical match between pets and suitable sitters.

We are happy to provide our readers with an exclusive HiLife Pet Registration Offer via www.HousesitMatch.com:
• Homeowners register for FREE
• Sitters recieve 15% discount using COUPON CODE: HILIFEPET

This is a guest post by Lamia Walker of HouseSit Match. We do not endorse services or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, links, content, or other materials contained in articles written by guest bloggers on our pages - Town & Country Petfoods Ltd.

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