Saturday, February 24, 2007

Vacationing without your pets

We just returned from a 10 day trip down south. Unfortunately, we couldn't take our dogs with us.

Leaving your pet for an extended period of time is heartwrenching for you but is also stressful for your pet. You can't explain to them that you're coming back...you can't tell them what's happening. All they know is that you've left and their world has fallen apart. That is one of the reasons we chose to get two dogs. If we left, our boys had each other for company. And it worked out well.

I used to have a Lhasa Apso and we took it to the breeder to stay for 2 weeks while we went on vacation. That poor dog was depressed for the entire two weeks and didn't eat for the first week. The breeder told us she sat at the front door for the week and wouldn't budge. It broke my heart to hear it and I didn't take a trip after that until she passed away.

We were lucky in that we were able to leave our current pets at their mother's place so we knew they would be well looked after in any event. However, even if we had to kennel them, the two would have each other for company and, most importantly, security. When we dropped them off, the two of them (side by side as usual) investigated the home, played with their mother, went outdoors together to snoop around, and then came back to play with their toys. When we came back, we were told they did everything together and seemed quite content to play, snooze and steal food from their mother.

In the end, having two dogs is much less stressful for everyone involved when you need to get away for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Shitzus and toys

My dogs love their toys. They can't seem to have enough of them. When they find a favorite, typically one that squeaks, they guard it, carry it around with them everywhere (even to the bathroom), and sleep with it. If you try and take it away just to wash it, look out because they will tear the place apart looking for it and cry when they can't find it.

Toys are good for them as well for chewing. As we all know, Shitzus love to chew. Chewing to them is like television or computer games to us. They can chew for an inordinate length of time. If they don't have a toy or some other thing to chew on, your furniture and cabinets will suffice. Usually, this is not something you want to come home to, so make sure your dogs have plenty of toys and other things to satisfy their insatiable desire to chew.