Going on vacation without your rescue dog? Trainer reveals her top tips to keep them happy while you're away

PitBull looking out the window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

When you’re a dog parent, you might find yourself needing to go away for a night or two without your pup every so often. 

And while you’ll likely miss each other lots, you’ll know that your furry friend will be having a great time while they’re being cared for, playing with some of the best dog toys and eating some of their favorite treats.

But if you have a rescue dog, you might feel more hesitant to go away without them. After all, it might be the first night you’ve spent away from each other since your pup came into your life. However, there are things that you can do to make the night apart as stress-free as possible for both of you. 

Dog trainer and behaviorist Louise Glazebrook offers her advice in a recent Instagram post – and it’s a real eye-opener.

In Glazebrook’s video, she looks at the experience of her parents, who went away for the night without their rescue dog Ted for the first time while she looked after him.

“I stayed at their house for the night to keep it consistent for him,” she begins in the post’s caption, “So that everything else stayed the same.”

She explains that he went on a big walk before her parents left, and that she sat with him while he saw her parents get in their car. They then went back inside and played, and she gave him some extra playtime after he’d eaten. 

She sat in the room where he sits each evening while she watched TV and worked on her laptop, and kept to the same bedtime routine as he’s used to (here’s a vet’s guide on how to get a dog to sleep!) 

“In the morning,” Glazebrook continues, “I let him explore as he came running upstairs to check if they were home.” She let Ted explore her parents’ bedroom and sit in there, and then let him sit with her while she got ready for the day, and then played with him and gave him the chance to explore the garden.

She adds, “Don’t underestimate the little things you do and how it can impact your rescue dog who is still settling in. We haven’t even had Ted for six months – this is still very much a settling-in period.”

Leaving your rescue dog for the first time can be daunting, there’s no question about that. But if you leave your pup with a trusted friend or relative who’s met them beforehand, and stick to their usual routine and environment as much as possible, they’re more likely to manage better. 

If you have a rescue dog but you’re not quite at the stage to leave them with somebody else for the night yet, you may find this article useful: I tried everything to help my nervous rescue dog settle in — here’s what actually worked.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.