Is it possible to go on vacation and NOT take the guilt with you about leaving your pet?
What about when you leave for work? OK, how about getting the mail? For me, it's a "No." I find myself looking back, just to make sure the house didn't start on fire or anything, and sure enough there is my Jazzy's face looking at me. Watching me leave. Perhaps you ease your pet's mind a bit by explaining that you will be back - in many different ways just to make sure they understand. "I'll be back!" "Be good boy...I'll come back." "Mommy will return soon. Promise." "Yes. Yes, I will see you soon." "You stay here. I'm coming back." "Good boy." "Are you my baby?"
Maybe I am a crazy cat lady talking to my cat about my schedule. (He's gotta be making mental notes at least.) A dog would, perhaps, understand my reasons for leaving...better than a cat. Right? Wrong.
Pets, whether it's a cat or dog, understand trust. And they trust that you will come back. Even on longer vacations, they know you will return. The guilt is only on us. And for good reason...we love our pets. We want to be with them, and want to be sure they'll be ok while we're gone. There is no solid research to date that proves whether your pet is negatively affected by your absence.
When we return to our pet from our sunny getaway, we reason with ourselves purely based on their behavior at that time. You're pretty sure you didn't cause emotional damage to your furry one...right? I've seen dogs hug their owners upon return from a long absence because they are so happy! Happy, not damaged. And if your cat doesn't hug you, don't be offended or worried. Cat's will not show the same level of attachment as dogs. Well they do have a reputation to uphold.
I just went on my first full week vacation from my 2 cats, Oreo and Jazzy. Since they had each other, I only had people check on them every 2 days making sure their food and water were good. I could relax then knowing they were fed and healthy while I was gone. Even so, I was surprised at how anxious I was to scoop them up when we were driving home. Truth be told...I was hoping that they would leap into my arms when I walked in the door and nuzzle me. When we pulled into the garage, I didn't even grab my luggage. I ran straight into the house. Jazzy made it clear that he wasn't happy with me by running away. Same with my little Oreo. It took about half an hour for them to warm up to me again. It was hard. But, during the next several days, Jazzy would not leave my side. He watched me like a hawk, and even cried when I was out of his sight.
Today Jazzy and Oreo are back to their normal routines, and my absence from them is far removed from their kitty minds. Did they miss me? I believe so. The benefit of being away, however, is the beautiful reunion when you return!
Comfi Pets are happi pets.
The photo in this article is our Jazzy at the front door watching me leave. "Be strong."