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I'm in a real bind and need some advice. My husband and I have two French Bulldogs, Pierre and Chloe, who are 3 and 5 years old. They're like our children, and we've never left them with anyone before. Unfortunately, my husband's uncle is very ill, and we need to fly out of state to see him before it's too late. We'll be gone for about a week, and the trip is coming up in three weeks.

Taking the pups on the plane is out of the question - it would be way too stressful for them. And honestly, I'm not comfortable with the idea of a pet hotel either. Ideally, we'd like to find someone who can either stay at our house with them or take them into their home and provide 24/7 care. My biggest concern is how to prepare Pierre and Chloe for this separation. They're so attached to us, and I'm worried about them being anxious or depressed while we're gone. Any tips on how to make this transition easier for them?

Also, any general advice on finding a trustworthy sitter or boarding situation would be greatly appreciated!

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I totally feel your anxiety! Leaving your fur babies for the first time is really hard.

The best thing you can do is start prepping your pups for your absence now. Try leaving them alone for short periods, like running a quick errand, and gradually increase the time you're gone. This will help them get used to being without you and build their confidence.

If you're planning on having a sitter come to your house, have them visit a few times beforehand so your pups can get familiar with their scent and presence. And make sure your sitter has everything they need to care for your fur babies - their usual food, treats, toys, and bedding. Familiar smells and objects can be very comforting for dogs when their humans are away.

It's also important to keep your pups' routine as consistent as possible while you're gone. This means sticking to their usual feeding times, walks, and playtime. It'll help them feel secure and reduce anxiety.

I would also recommend having some kind of contract with the sitter. Trust me, it'll give you peace of mind knowing everything is spelled out in black and white. Last time I used this one, which is absolutely free https://lawrina.org/templates/pet-sitting-contract/

And of course, you'll want to stay connected while you're away. Ask your sitter to send you daily updates and photos so you can see how your pups are doing. You could even do a video call so you can see their sweet faces and they can hear your voice.

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    Tve video call can maybe have thw opposite effect and the dogs feel your absence even more. Because they see you but do not feel your touch or amell your scent. This is puzzling... Commented Apr 12 at 15:44

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