Socializing and Traveling with Your Pet

Socializing and Traveling with Your Pet

Understanding Different Types of Pet Hair Reading Socializing and Traveling with Your Pet 6 minutes Next Homemade Pet Treats
When it comes to being a pet parent, it is important to understand the implications pet ownership has on your travel and social time. If you and your pet work together, these do not need to be hurdles. Any pet ownership comes with an adaptation period for you and your furry friend – this is especially true for travel and socializing.
So, if you are someone who likes to travel or be social, here are some helpful tips and tricks. Keep in mind that no two pets are the same though. Our pets usually love their humans, and it is important we remember our presence or lack thereof  will be noticed. Let’s explore what it means to socialize our pets and travel with and without them. 

Starting Off… Getting Your Pet Comfortable with Separation

Let’s start with a very basic suggestion. If you are someone with a new furry friend, make sure you help them get used to your absence. Especially if you are someone who works from home, make sure you allow time for your pet to get used to your absence in your home. This is especially important if you have a youngin like a puppy or kitten. 
This was a big topic of discussion during the height of the pandemic. As pet ownership increased, new pets and their families were spending a lot of time together, sometimes nonstop. Furry friends got accustomed to more attention than the pre/post-pandemic norm. Check out this article on Separation Anxiety and the “pandemic puppy”  from the American Animal Hospital Association for more information. 
We can learn a thing or two from this phenomenon: make sure a new pet gets used to their alone time! It can feel like the right thing to do to spend as much time as possible with your new furry friend, but this can end up harming them when they experience prolonged periods of separation. This includes when their human changes work schedules or travels. 
If you have a pet that you think shows signs of separation anxiety (check out the previously mentioned article for more information on the signs), there are some options that may help your pet in your absence, particularly for dogs. Consider a pet daycare or having a friend or family member to sub in your absence. This way your pet can have human interaction and care in your absence. 

Training Your Pet to be Comfortable Around Others

If you want your animal to be comfortable around others, make sure that you prioritize this training as early on as possible. It is important your pet gets used to the presence of new people quickly, especially if you want them to go out in public with you. 

If you have a dog and are introducing them to new people in your home, I suggest following these helpful steps from 11 tips for how to introduce dogs to new people and other dogs. Start off with your dog in a confined space until your guests are settled in, then let your dog lead the introduction.

Your pet may have a certain disposition to certain people. I recently had a friend with a new doggo that particularly disliked men compared to women, so they took extra care socializing their pup with males. That same pooch also didn’t seem to like hats, so they worked to make the dog more comfortable by having their friends remove their caps prior to introductions. 

Keeping these dispositions in mind can help you take precautions for bringing people into you and your pet’s space. It can also be helpful to make sure your pet has their own space they can access in a more secluded area in case they feel overwhelmed.

Training Your Pet for Your Travel

If your pet is going to have heightened alone time during your travel, it is important to build them up to this isolation as previously discussed. If you are traveling, make sure you consider your pet sitting options.

I think it is ideal for your pet to stay in their same space if possible and have their care come to them. This allows your pet to have the comfort of their surroundings with the addition of a person to their space. If you are having a family member, friend, or someone for hire watch your pet, make sure you provide a neutral introduction opportunity if possible! 

If you are taking your pet to another space for their care during your absence, help out how you can to get them acclimated. If your pet is going to spend time in a crate, make sure they are used to this. If possible, provide familiar goods like their bed, toys, or blankets to accompany their stay elsewhere to help them feel at home. 

Training Your Pet for Their Travel

If you are hoping to travel with your pet, here are some things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure your pet gets acclimated quickly to new spaces if you will be exposing them to an abundance of novel places. Make sure you feel good about their introduction to strangers as mentioned in training your pet to be comfortable around others. 

Just like training your pet for your travel, make sure they get used to these circumstances before your travel. If you will be spending a prolonged period in a car, make sure your pet is used to this trip. If you are looking to travel via plane with a pup, check out this piece: How to Prepare Your Dog For Air Travel.

In Closing…

Your travel and social life doesn’t need to be halted just because you are a pet parent. It is important that this is a part of your training early on though. So, whether you are a parent of a new or familiar pet, take a moment to consider your socialization and travel routine. Taking a moment to make a plan of action can help you and your furry friend get used to new people, places, and experiences. 

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