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Last spring, our beloved cat, Oscar disappeared. He went outside in the morning to do his business and never returned. My dog, Vincent, and I were devastated. Vincent became depressed and I admit that I spilled my fair share of tears.
Vincent lost interest in everything. He didn’t want to eat his food or play with his toys.
I bought him new food and new toys, but it did little to improve his spirits.
Other than the heartbreaking moments when he would stand on our front porch and gaze across the yard in what I assumed was looking for Oscar, he remained resting near my feet, inconsolable.
The only way I could pep him up was to take him for a walk. But even that little bit of excitement he managed to rouse was short-lived.
I was concerned about him and feared that we may lose him too. But just when things looked especially bleak for Vincent, someone dropped two stray cats off at our country home; a mama cat and a young kitten.
The mama cat was wild and skittish. Her only interest was eating, while the kitten and my adult dog quickly became fast friends. Willard (our kitten) was just the formula Vincent needed to bounce back to life.
Mama Cat eventually got used to us and calmed down, so we can pet her and hold her, and while she and the dog now tolerate each other, her main interest remains food. Those stray cats were an answer to prayer and provided companionship to Vincent.
Though Vincent has traveled a great deal with my family in the past and we often road trip with dog, during the disappearance of Oscar, we thought it would be better for him to remain at home.
He doesn’t travel as happily as he did when he was younger, and I didn’t want to subject him to any more stress while he was in his fragile state. I didn’t even like to travel during that time.
Thankfully, I have grown children that he loves that were able to stay with him and check in on him throughout the day.
Preparing to Travel without Pets
Getting ready for a trip without Vincent is difficult under the best of circumstances.
Vincent gets nervous when he sees me packing my suitcase.
To help him with the transition, I would get my suitcase out of the closet several days before I began to pack for my trip. This allowed him to ease into the mindset that his owner and caretaker was going away for a few days.
I also showered him with more attention and a few extra treats.
There were a few go-to items and favorite things that I made sure were available to make the transition to the pet sitter easier for Vincent.
I made sure to leave a list for the pet sitter that included our Vet’s number in case of emergency, as well as instructions regarding Vincent’s routine.
I made sure his blanket was washed and that his favorite toys were in his basket.
I also gave him a bath, so he smelled good- this helps to ensure he gets lots of attention.
I also made a trip to the PetSmart, but you could visit any pet store to stock up on essential items.
- Calming Tablets
- A Calming Collar
- His favorite treats.
- A new toy
- Plenty of dog food so he wouldn’t run out.
I also suggest a nuzzle collar which you can learn more about here—> Why you need a nuzzle collar.
This printable Checklist for your Pet Sitter is a starting point to help you remember what information to share with your sitter. You want your dog’s routine to remain as stable as possible in your absence. If you are traveling with your dog, you can check out this list of dog travel essentials.
A Trip to PetSmart- an Adventure your Dog will Love
To prepare for my trip, I promised Vincent he could go to PetSmart with me. I even dressed him for the occasion. He enjoys traveling in the car, but it’s been a while since I’ve taken him inside PetSmart with me, so I placed him in the cart to make sure he’d behave.
Purina Pro Plan for Vincent
While Vincent has been eating grain-free dog food for the past six months, he doesn’t like the flavor of his current brand. My plan is to switch him to the Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Grain Free Adult Dog Food. Made with real chicken, beef, lamb or salmon as the #1 ingredient in all dry formulas, I was confident that I could find a flavor that Vincent would like.
The food is available in wet and dry formulas, which is nice since Vincent is getting older and having a harder time chewing his hard dog food.
Plus, he still thinks the wet foods are a tasty treat.
The Pro Plan® SAVOR® provides optimal nutrition to support healthy and active lives for our pets, with a taste that makes mealtime something they’ll look forward to.
Vincent selected the flavor of food he wanted, and we moved on to the cat food aisle.
My cats don’t need to eat grain-free, but since Vincent would often rather eat cat food than his own dog food, I decided grain-free is the way to be and selected the Purina® Pro Plan® True Nature™ cat food.
Purina Pro Plan is high in protein to feed my cat’s natural instincts and packed with natural flavors and nutrients to keep my older cat sharp, agile and focused whether she’s inside or out. There is also a ProPlan for kittens!
Learn how to Save at PetSmart
PetSmart also provides several ways for shoppers to save money. Check the ads for in-store offers.
Sign up for PetSmart’s loyalty program, PetSmart Treats for exclusive deals and discounts and to earn points on your purchases. You’ll even get a free surprise on your pet’s birthday.
Vincent may not be traveling with me on this trip out of town, but to him, shopping at PetSmart was an adventure. Not only did I shop for Vincent’s needs, but I also picked up a few items to spoil him.
On this trip, he selected new food and a new toy while I shopped the seasonal merchandise for a cute football jersey. It doesn’t matter if I’m not really a fan of the team, right? The jersey sure looks cute on Vinnie!
I love that Vincent is so welcomed at PetSmart. He even got a treat from the cashier. I imagine for a dog, it doesn’t get much better. Especially when you have a buddy waiting at home to play.
Have you tried the Purina ProPlan line of food products for your dog or cat?