If you have to get away and leave your dog behind, and you know that your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you need to take a few extra steps to make sure that your dog is safe and well cared for during this time period. Separation anxiety in dogs can be serious if not treated correctly. Your dog could injure themselves trying to get away and get back home, or harm themselves by refusing to eat. You can help ease your dog's separation anxiety by taking specific steps when you are out of town.

Use Boarding Alternatives

A big commercial boarding kennel may not be the best set-up for your dog. Instead, you may want to look into more intimate options. You may want to see if you can hire a pet sitter who can come to your home to take care of your dog. Some dog boarding kennels work with professional pet sitters who can step in when keeping your dog at their facilities will not work out. Or you can look into a smaller boarding facility, where a smaller number of dogs are boarded. You can even look into home-style boarding facilities, where a small number of dogs stay in a place that is set-up more like a home and less like a traditional kennel. Look for creative options that will allow your dog to feel more comfortable while you are away.

Work On Coping

Don't just leave your dog cold-turkey in a boarding situations. If you usually spend all day around your dog, work on leaving your dog alone for short periods of time. If you have a few months before your trip, try to work up from a few minutes alone each day, to a few hours, to almost a whole day alone. Work with your vet on this coping strategy. Building up your dog's ability to be alone with make the transition to boarding when you have to be out of town easier on your dog.

Pack Up Reminders Of Home

One of the best ways to convey to your dog that you are coming back for them is by packing up reminders of home for them. Bring as many of your dog's own items with them as possible. Pack up your dog's bed and bedding. Make sure your dog has their own food and water bowls from home, as well as their own food that they normally eat. Bring along toys that your dog enjoys playing with. Also, pack up an old shirt, blanket or pillowcase for each member of your family so your dog can smell you when you are all away.

Make Sure Socialization & Exercise Are Prioritized

Finally, make sure you pick a boarding situation where exercise and socialization are prioritized. If your dog gets to go on a couple of walks a day, play outside in a big pen or play with other dogs, your dog will be able to work off some of their anxiety and energy and make it more easily through the boarding process.