Wow, my mind must really be on summer. I guess it’s because of this lovely warm weather. Anyway, now that I’ve talked a little bit about family vacations, I remember I had mentioned leaving my guide dogs behind sometimes because the environment might not be a good place for them. I think this might be one misconception. People believe that guide dogs go everywhere with the owner, but this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to things like the waterpark or swimming. So, when I go on vacation, I have left my dog in the hotel room.
Sometimes I wonder, is my dog safe in a hotel room by himself? You hear all the time about stolen dogs. On a Seeing Eye graduates email list, one of the topics we have been discussing is dog theft. People are stealing dogs for dog breeding or fighting. No matter what it is, these thieves are only out for the money. I guess I’m a little paranoid about that sort of thing and always very protective of my dogs. It is true that these things happen all the time. However, I’ve never ran into any trouble. Another concern I have is, will it stress my dog out too much if I leave him in a new place all by himself?
Maybe a few of you have dogs that become very anxious when you leave them. One way you can tell if a dog is anxious is if, when you get home, and the things in your house are destroyed. I worried about this with my dogs in a new place. I wondered if they would destroy things in the room, if they would bother the housekeeping staff if they came in, or how they would react when they realized they would be there for a while. Thankfully, I have always had laid-back dogs. I believe, when I let Errol loose in the room by himself, he was fine and didn’t do anything. However, when I left Joba by himself, I turned on my music at a soft volume and kept him in his crate. In fact, if you ever take your dogs on vacation with you, this is what I would recommend. Bring some sort of crate along. Here are some reasons why you might want to bring a kennel or something to contain your dog while you are away.
First, as I mentioned before, dogs can have separation anxiety. If you are in a hotel room, you don’t want to leave your dog alone if you know he or she will not be okay. The last thing you want is for your dog to rip up the hotel room. Keeping your dog in a kennel can prevent some of this. One reason is because, if you bring a familiar item such as your dog’s favorite bed or crate, your dog will automatically feel more at home and less anxious. Also, another thing to consider when leaving your dog in a hotel room is how your dog reacts to strangers.
If you have a dog who is overly friendly with strangers, this could possibly get on the nerves of housekeeping staff that may not like dogs. This is when a crate is recommended. Also, if you have a dog who is aggressive towards house guests, requiring you to put him or her somewhere else in order to keep from someone getting bit, a crate is required. I unfortunately didn’t have a crate when I had Errol, but if I would have, I would have kept him in their when we were gone. Honestly, for your dog’s safety and the safety of everyone else, crating your dog is crucial when leaving him or her behind in a new area. Even if you think you know your dog very well, you shouldn’t take that chance.
It’s fun to be able to take your furry friend with you on vacations. After all, they are a part of our family. Just keep these safety tips in mind next time you go on a trip and decide to take that precious bundle of joy with you. Most of all, whatever you do, have fun.