When you bring a pet home, you hardly think about leaving them alone, or with someone else. Who would want to leave a pet they love with all their heart with a stranger, right? But, there are times when you might be compelled to do it - a trip, some medical or financial difficulty, anything that makes it impossible for you to look after your adorable pet. As heartbreaking as it is, it needs to be done. Here are a few things you need to do before the transition so that your pet is ready for it.
Meet the foster parent beforehand
Introduce your pet to their new parents in advance. Take them to the foster parent’s home so that they get familiar with the place too. Ask the foster parent to take your pet for a walk, feed them, etc. so that your pet feels comfortable around them and understands they are in safe company. You being friendly with the parent also puts your pet at ease. During the visit, give your pet a few treats so that they associate their new house with a positive experience.
While leaving, ask the foster parent to give something to take back home so that your pet becomes more familiar with their scent. After a couple of meetings, you can try leaving your pet at their place for one night to see how things work out.
Start spending a few hours apart from your pet
Yes, we know you would want to do the exact opposite - spend more time with them since you might not see them for sometime. But your pets don’t know that. Gear up for your absence, prepare them for the times when you won’t be near them and assure them that you will come back.
Start by leaving them in the house alone for a few minutes and gradually build it up to a few hours. This way, whenever you leave the house, it won’t make them anxious since they’ll believe you’ll be back like always. Work towards a time period that you feel your pet is comfortable with and don’t push them beyond certain limits.
Step up the exercise routine
We know you might be already taking your pet for daily walks, and playing fetch. That’s great because it keeps them happy and in control of their emotions. However, soon enough their routine is going to change and you want them to be as stress-free as possible.
Ask the foster parent to continue the exercise routine as much as possible while you are away to protect your pet’s emotional health. And the bonus is - they’ll have less time to miss you and feel sad!
How Can You Get Your Pet Ready To Stay With Someone Else?
Make them meet their new parents well in advance
Let them be familiar with the scent of the new people and house
Start staying away from your pet
Help them be independent and trust that you’ll always come back
Manage emotional balance with exercise
Exercise keeps them healthy, happy, and in a great mood. Ask the foster parents to continue their routine if you can’t
Keep your goodbyes simple
Stop yourself from giving them extra hugs to prevent increased anxiety
Give them a sense of home always
Leave their favourite toys, your shirt and other items for scents that remind them of home
Don’t go overboard with affection
It’s natural, right? Whether it is a few hours or days, the missing is going to be real. But in the last few days, if you suddenly hug, cuddle, and squish them more than usual, they will know something is up. And when you leave them suddenly, they won’t understand what just happened, which sends their anxiety levels shooting up.
Keep your goodbye short, sweet, and simple. Also, if you are a dog owner, be careful of not passing on your anxious or nervous vibes to your dog. They can sense your emotions and can mirror them.
Make your presence felt even in your absence
When you miss someone, having something which reminds you of them feels nice, right? It’s the same with pets. Get a goodbye bag ready for them which includes everything that might remind them of you and home. Having that familiar smell around them will make them feel comfortable even if they are with someone else.
Ensure their vaccination is up to date
You don’t want to leave such important tasks to someone who barely knows your pet. It’s also an easy way to attract illnesses. Get all vaccinations done at least 2 weeks before.
To make the impending separation easier for you and your pet, here are a few things you can practice from when they are puppies or kittens:
If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, train them at the earliest. Inform your foster parent about your pet’s symptoms and give them clear instructions on how to take care of your pet.
For dogs, crate training has been found to be effective. You might cringe at the thought of your furry friend curled up in a small space but it also acts as a safe space for them.
Write down your pet’s schedule in great detail so that the other person knows exactly what to do.
Wishing you and your pet a smooth, hassle-free transition! You and your pet got this!