The reservations are made, the bags are packed, and you’re ready for your trip. If you’re not taking your animal(s) with you, who’s in charge of their welfare while you’re away?
Are you booking your holiday but fretting over leaving your animals at home? In a cattery or kennels? With someone else looking after them? A neighbour assigned to pop in every day and offer food and cuddles? Someone at your yard who’s tasked to ‘keep an eye’ on your horse and take care of the basics.
For animal lovers going on holiday can be a difficult decision. So that you don’t spend every moment of every day worrying about the other ‘members of your family’ here is some guidance to solve the problem of going away.
When You Travel Without Your Animal Companions
First, make sure you manage expectations because it will help to reduce stress. Put in place a care plan that you feel completely happy with. This could include:
- Hiring a animal sitter to stay in your home.
- Hiring a animal visitor to pop in and feed your animals.
- Hiring a professional with the animal skills you need to make sure that your animals receive the due care and attention you feel they deserve.
- Having a trusted neighbour visit.
- Putting them into the care of a reputable kennels or cattery.
- Leaving them with friends/family to take care of them in their home.
Obviously, it’s not going to be as good as the real thing (you!), but by getting the best next option in place it will save you, their guardian, a lot of heartache. You need to know that when you go away your
friends are going to be kept safe and feel happy.
The Before You Leave Technique
Let your animals know when you’re going and how long you’re going to be away.
All animals are telepathic and even when you might find it hard to understand their communication to you; they are pretty skilled at receiving yours.
- Find a quiet place to be still and undisturbed so that you can concentrate.
- Close your eyes and take some relaxing slow breaths. In through your nose and out through gently parted lips.
- If your animal isn’t beside you, hold an image of them in your mind or look gently at a photo of them.
- Put your hand on your heart and feel your love reach out of you and across to your animal.
- Say their name and tell them how much you love them. You can do this out loud or silently in your mind.
- Now explain using your thoughts and forming pictures, about the journey you’re going on. Include why you’re going away, how long you’ll be away and most importantly, when your animal can expect you back. Animals understand the concept of time.
I quite like to detail the time frame in the amount of nights or sleeps, by visualizing moon cycles or the animal sleeping overnight, but you can do it anyway that feels simple and clear to you. My partner has always liked to kiss the top of our animal’s head, one for each night away, along with ‘I’ll be away for….”
Make sure you include detail and ask them if they have any questions about any aspect of your absence and their care.
It’s good to name where they will be staying, the person/s who will care for them and what they can expect day-to-day.
Reassure them they will continue to be fed their regular diet (if this is the case) and at the time they expect their meals (if you are able to promise this.)
Finally, tell them you’re going to miss them but you’ll make an effort to connect with them while you’re away.
The While You Travel Technique
Hopefully you’ll be having a great time while you’re away, even if it’s on business. First thing in the morning or last thing at night are perfect times to check in with your animal to ask how they’re doing and to let them know you’re ok. They sometimes worry about us as much as we worry about them when we’re absent.
- Find quiet place again, either sitting comfortably or lie back on your bed.
- Take some slow relaxing breaths and relax.
- Place your heart on your heart area and remind yourself how much you love your animal/s.
- Picture them using your mind’s eye or look at a photograph of them and send some love across to them and trust that it reaches them.
- Say their hello and their name, and then imagine you are right beside them, looking into their face, and feeling peaceful together.
- Imagine stroking them, grooming or giving them a good scratch where they love it, as if you are both physically together.
- You can then ask them how they are, if everything is ok, if anything is wrong and how they spent their day.
- You can also explain, if they’re interested, how you spent your day.
- Finish your communication by reminding them when you’ll be home and know how much you love them.
- Check in with them every day until you are home again.
Many of my clients and students have reported great success when following these techniques. Letting our animal companions in on what’s going on can remove so much stress from the situation. Just as it can for us when we feel informed about something.
Trust your instincts and communicate from a place of unconditional love and you can find this a very powerful and helpful process for both you and your animal/s.
Health Care Responsibilities
Authorize someone you trust to act on your behalf in case of an emergency if you can’t be reached. Make sure that person is aware of your wishes regarding emergency treatment; this includes the potentially uncomfortable topic of financial limits, if there are any. Provide that person with all possible methods of contacting you in case of an emergency, including contact information for your traveling companions as appropriate, as well as an assurance of your trust that they can make decisions if you cannot be reached. Did you know you can complete a Pet Care Emergency Authorization Form?
By Pea Horsley, Animal Communicator
My website: www.animalthoughts.com
Pet Care Emergency Authorization Form:
Disclaimer: This model form/document is a sample only, is not specific to the facts of any business or organization, and therefore should not be used or relied upon without the advice of retained legal counsel. This model form/document is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion and should not be construed as such.