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How do you take a vacation if you have an anxious dog?

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No, the dogs can't come with us.


When I was a child and my family took a vacation, we hired a neighbor youngster to come over and feed our pets.


My female dog is deathly afraid of anyone outside our household.


She has a ThunderShirt that we have tried during storms (with little success), but her fear of people is debilitating. (Our male is cautious but gets over it and is friendly with our close friends.)


If we have visitors (even regular company -- people who come over every week or so), she does one of two things: 1. hides in the bedroom corner or 2. stays outside, hanging around the back French door and barking constantly -- but running away under the shed if anyone goes outside.


Sometimes it takes her hours to be assured "the coast is clear" and she can come back inside after our company leaves.




We're happy with her. She's gentle and affectionate. With us.


Believe me, we tried all the typical "socialize your pet" things when she was a pup and her issues just got worse.


Well, not completely worse. It used to be that she would only come to me. Now she responds when the dc call her, too.


So . . . if we go anywhere overnight, what can we do?


If we have someone come to feed her, she'll be scared and won't come inside. And she may bark all night. Her brother would come in and out, but might be bothered by her barking . . . The same thing would happen if we had a house-sitter.


If we board her, I'll know she's taken care of and not bothering our neighbors, but it may be traumatic for her. (She loses bowel control every time we have a car trip.)


Or we could leave both dogs outside (when temps are mild with plenty of food and shelter). This may be less traumatic for them since they'd be together in familiar territory, but I'm not sure about barking. They are used to sleeping in my bedroom every night.


Every time we think of going anywhere (which obviously isn't often) I get stumped on what to do with her.


Anyone else deal with similar issues? Successfully?

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