View Full Version : How Do You Prepare Your Dogs for Long Term Stay Away from Home?

19th July 2010, 04:35 PM
Bob and Belle are going on a holiday in a rural area in County Mayo to stay with the in-laws. While they are in Mayo, we'll be going to America to be with my family and to say goodbye to my brother.
On top of everything else I am really worried about leaving my dogs. They are my babies and the thought of being away from them for a long time breaks my heart! They have stayed with the in-laws before but only for a weekend, they did fine. Belle stayed with them for a week's stint about a year and a half ago, but she was just a pup. Things went well with her. She's very quiet, very well trained and easy-going. Bob, on the other hand, is a little anxious and needs more stimulation- a few minutes of play time, a good walk and large chewy rawhide bone keeps him happy. He tends to be more vocal than Belle and can get nervous when anything is out of routine.

How can I prepare the dogs for our departure? I have a feeling that both are aware that something is going on, as Bob is quite anxious and all he wants to do is chew chew chew, he's becoming obsessed with chewing bones. Belle is her quiet self, but has become more clingy.

I want to put a temporary tag on their collars with the in-laws information on it and I thought maybe a little keyring tag or luggage tag would suffice. What do you think? Where do I get them, at a hardware store? My husband thinks I'm crazy for worrying like this... his parents do not have a secure garden but are surrounded by rolling green fields. I'm worried that if the dogs get past the garden too far that they will get lost or find their way to the road and get hurt.

Thanks for your time and advice.

team bella
19th July 2010, 07:11 PM
I don't blame you for worrying, I'd be the same. I would tell your inlaws not to leave them outside alone in the garden because the may find an escape route. Are they chipped? Also I would leave an item of clothing with them that you've worn. That way the still have your smell and of home. I don't know what else to say?? If you were in Scotland I would have taken them.

team bella
19th July 2010, 07:12 PM
Sorry I should have also said that I'm very sorry to hear about your brother, its a very sad time for you.:hug:

20th July 2010, 01:05 AM
Yes they are chipped and registered with Kennel Club, etc. They are good on recall and don't tend to wander when off leash in an unsecured area, but I'm just worried. Thanks team bella.

20th July 2010, 10:10 PM
I'm sorry I know you must be so worried and upset about your brother, and I'm sure the anxiety you are seeing in the dogs is partly due to your mood - they are so sensitive that they will be picking up on how you are feeling.

I'm sure they will be fine whilst you are away - like team bella says, leave them something with your smell on it, also I presume you are taking their beds, food etc? I'm sure you know to leave your vets telephone number, and make sure they have the number for the nearest vet just in case.

It sounds like your two are good off lead, but just reinforce to the In laws that Cavaliers have no fear of anything, and no sense of road danger, so they need to be careful with them nad not leave them outside on their own - also they don't know who might be around, so should watch them carefully.

You can get the little key fob tags which are quite good for temporary measures from a hardware shop - or the pet shop do the barrel type tags for the collar. Leave your In laws number with the microchipping company too.

We use Dr Bach Rescue Remedy which you can get from the chemists for the dogs when they are anxious about anything - it's good for people too. You can either put a couple of drops directly in the mouth but it's easier to put 4 drops in the water bowl each time you change it. That helps to keep them a bit calmer. I always talk to my dogs, tell them what is happening and how many "sleeps" I will be away for...I'm sure they understand.

Take care and we will be thinking of you.

Love my Cavaliers
20th July 2010, 11:00 PM
I know this probably won't be much help, but you will be probably be worse off without them than they will be without you. I'm sure they will get tender loving care from your in-laws. Just be sure to tell them to keep eagle eyes out for any escape attempts (open doors, etc). You on the other hand will be missing their soft warm bodies and deep expressive eyes to snuggle up into and cry with. They will bring you and your niece so much comfort when you return home. I'm sorry this will be a difficult trip for you.

21st July 2010, 02:26 AM
First, I want to say I'm really sorry about your brother. I completely understand you worrying about the dogs -- that's what great pet owners do! In addition to what everyone else has suggested, what about changing the information on their microchips to reflect where they will be staying while you're away? If you're out of the country it might be hard to reach you.

Have a safe trip and best of luck with what lies ahead.

21st July 2010, 10:49 AM
I am sure the dogs will be fine -- to be honest, I have never had a case of a dog pining for someone when it has been fostered, boarded or rehomed. I know from my friends who do home boarding that this is truly an extremely rare issue and generally only lasts a day or two at most. Fussing over them in advance is more likely to make them generally anxious as after all they can pick up on anxiety but will have no idea it relates to any particular thing. The best thing to do with dogs is always to just act as if things are fully normal and don't dwell on goodbyes or greetings -- either make dogs respond in some frantic ways that people generally do not want but ay not realise they have accidentally trained their dogs to do! When I leave my dogs for boardingI just drop them and go. When I collect them I ignore them til they calm down. Otherwise you get all the unwanted greeting behaviour with family and visitors that people try desperately to discourage at other times. :thmbsup:

On the stay with relatives -- I'd have some mixed feelings here and personally would not leave them in such a situation. If you are going away for under 3 weeks I would board or kennel them where they are safely confined in a fenced garden if let out. I think non dog owners just do not get the idea that an open door with free access can mean a lost dog. And they are not used to thinking about keeping doors closed at all times. I would always feel happier knowing mine were safe in formal boarding/kennels especially if they are not actually that familiar with the relatives anyway. Mine are always happy to stay with all the various places they go to for boarding from time to time, and love the people they stay with. My recommendation would be to board or kennel them and not have to worry about them getting lost or stolen from an unfenced area they do not know well.

Margaret C
21st July 2010, 11:42 PM
I have taken care of other people's cavaliers many times and I am sorry to say they are very fickle. They usually settle very quickly and transfer all their devotion to the new treat giver. You will probably be a lot more affected by the parting than they will.

I agree that the unfenced garden would worry me and I would prefer a secure kennel environment, where they could be kept together.

I would make sure the new address is very visible. In the past I have ordered brightly coloured plastic dog discs on eBay and received them very quickly, but you may not have time?

I have found that the barrel-like tags are often mistaken for ornamental pendants by the non-dog-owning people. They do not realise there is an address inside.
At a pinch, a thin label laid along the collar & completely secured by yards of sellotape will last and remain legible for weeks.

Good luck

29th July 2010, 06:47 PM
Wow! Thank you. Some great advice here. Belle and Bob ended up staying with the inlaws and they have been taken care of very well and watched with an eagle eye. We are going back to Mayo tomorrow to collect them. Tis very true, I was pining for them much more than they were for us!
The reunion will be extremely emotional, it's gonna be hard to hold myself back from letting them knock me down and lick my face and for me to hug them, but I'll try!