Pet Anxiety

Some of the most common questions I answer while pet parents are away are, “How are my pets doing? Are they OK? Do they seem happy?”  Pet anxiety is a big issue for pet owners, especially those that don’t travel often.

But, wait, doesn’t Creature Comforts Pet Sitting of Seattle update once a day through your text messaging service to let pet parents know their kiddos are doing well?
Of course we do. Occasionally a client has some separation pet anxiety about leaving their pets. We totally understand. So, what can pet moms and dads do when they are slightly worried about how their pets are feeling while they are supposed to be enjoying a vacation?
After at least 5 years of running a pet sitting business, I can tell you first hand that most pets adjust very well to sitters caring for them for any length of time. Some pets take a couple of visits to warm up to us (that’s normal and totally OK!), and then we are friends for life. We know that some cats are shy and some dogs aren’t as happy-go-lucky as others. Each pet is so unique, and we have sitters who are equipped to handle pets’ personalities. One of the criteria for an employee is to be able to work with all types of pets.
So, what can pet parents do while they are away to ease their minds about how their pets are possibly feeling in their absence?
I am not suggesting your pets don’t know you are gone. But who is more emotional about you being away?
Fido says, “I love you, but am having a blast with my sitter!”
Your dog will adapt and be flexible to a new caretaker immediately or within a few visits. This doesn’t mean they don’t love YOU; they just love everyone (this is a good thing)! IF you miss your pets, that’s normal. Just remember they adapt very easily, especially when cared for by professionals.
Fluffy says, “I’m hiding and shy, but only for now.”
Cats usually come out to us after a couple of visits. We ALWAYS check on them and make sure we “put eyes” on your cat if they are hiding. Is your cat depressed? I doubt it. He or she is probably adjusting to a new person. Sitters will wait on the couch or once the cat is fed, Fluffy usually warms up to us.
Fido says, “I miss attention and that’s why I am so excited to see my sitter.”
Dogs typically love a lot of attention and exercise. They sometimes are very excited to us when we start pet care for them. Some dogs are more relaxed, while others definitely show more excitement. Pet parents should want their dogs to be friendly to strangers and enjoy spending time with other people and pets.
Depending on the personality of your pet, he or she may be very happy to see us or more laid back about having a new buddy in the house. Just remember that your pets are home where they are everyday while you work and run errands. They are so used to being home, having a professional sitter is like having a new friend.

Do you have pet anxiety while you travel? Your home is the BEST place for your pet to stay while you are gone. Some pets do just fine at kennels, but many enjoy the safety and security of their own home. Enjoy your next trip!

Matthew Scott
Creature Comforts Pet Sitting of Seattle

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