Finding the Right Pet Sitter for Your Anxious Dog

Dog snifffing stranger's hand
If it is your dog's first time with a sitter or boarding facility, consider a meet-and-greet so he can get used to the new person or place.

The holidays can be challenging for all dogs, but for those who are anxious or fearful it is especially so. Though we love to have our dogs participate in holiday celebrations with family and friends, it may not be possible for an anxiety-prone pooch to share in the fun.

Boarding your dog, or leaving him with a pet sitter, can help alleviate his stress by removing him from a situation that may overwhelm him. But it’s important to find the right arrangement for your canine.

If your dog’s anxiety causes behavior issues, seek professional guidance before leaving him with a boarder or pet sitter. Talk with your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for his anxiety and ask about a referral to a veterinary behaviorist or positive reinforcement trainer.

Choosing a Caregiver

When you’re searching for a boarding facility or pet sitter for your anxious dog, it’s important to find a situation that works for him.

If your dog is easily stressed by people or other dogs, a sitter who comes to your home may be a good option. A dog with separation anxiety may do best with a sitter who can stay continuously with him in your home until you return. In some circumstances, however, an anxious dog is more likely to be protective in his home environment, so a boarding facility may be better. In that case, look for a quiet facility with a private kennel run for each dog. 

Doggie day care may be another possibility for dogs who enjoy the company of other canines but are merely a little shy with people. For anxious dogs, a combination of day care and a sitter at home in the evenings may be a workable solution. A doggie day care may also be a good option if you are hosting a party or event and want your dog to go somewhere fun and stress free for a day or evening.


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