5 Steps to Prepare Pets for Your Vacation

With Maribeth Decker

As an animal communicator, I intuitively prepare my cats and dogs for my vacation when they’re not coming with me. I do this for my clients’ pets, too. But if you’re a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, you might try these ideas.

1. Talk to them in a slightly different way

If you’re like most of us, you already talk to your animals. Maybe not in front of strangers, but in front of people you feel comfortable with. Me? I’m talking to my dogs on walks, in front of guests, anywhere I think we need to chat. I ask them to greet people who’ve said they like dogs, to finish sniffing so we can move on, tell them why I’m not going on that trail today (it’s too muddy and I’m wearing sandals), or to move away from the landing so my guest can come inside. I think I’m becoming known as the crazy dog lady. And I’m certainly talking to my cats the same way! But that’s ok, I’m making a lot of friends in the neighborhood.

Hold the intention that they understand you completely. You’ll be shocked!

2. Before you go on vacation

A couple days before you go on vacation, tell them you’ll be gone and who’s taking care of them. Don’t forget to tell them you’ll be back! That’s important!

As you talk to them, be sure to picture everything in your mind like you’re watching a movie: your leaving them, the caretakers taking care of them, and your return—whether it’s coming home or picking them up and bringing them home. Generate a feeling of love so they know this is not something to dread. Do it a couple of times. Adding visuals and emotions are the key!

3. How long you’ll be gone

You can even give them a sense of how long you’ll be gone. Some people tell me their animals understand days of the week, so they say, “I’ll be back Tuesday!” I’m not sure my guys understand that, so I use sunrises. I talk to them and say, “We’ll be back in [this many] sunrises.” And I show them the number of sunrises until we return. I show them us returning home on that final sunrise day.

4. Daily Check-ins

While you’re on vacation, be sure to check in with your animals. It’s fun and feels great.

Here’s how I do it: Picture your animals in your mind. Next, picture the energy center in your chest (called a chakra) that vibrates with your heart energy. I see a small sun the size of a baseball or grapefruit in my chest. Picture that energy ball as green. See it sending out a green light from your heart to your animal’s heart or you can see that green light cover their body like a cozy blanket. Feel how much you love them as you send the green heart energy. Be sure to tell them you love them as you send it.

And update them on how many sunrises until you get home. Give them permission to relax and enjoy themselves—no need to worry.

5. Or ask me to do this

I did this whole process for Mary Ann’s cats and she was gone 3 weeks!! When I checked in, I reminded them that she loved them and would be back. We did a countdown so they could see how many sunrises there were until she came home. I kept Mary Ann updated via email so she could relax.

I also worked with Susan to see if her kitty was willing to endure a 3-hour car ride to their second home. He finds car rides unsettling but absolutely wanted to go with her. She found a safe relaxant from her vet for the ride. She reports he had a BLAST, acting like a kitten as he explored the house!

Contact me if you think I can help!

Maribeth Decker,, is an intuitive animal communicator who has the ability to tune into animals so you can have a 2-way conversation with your pet about behavioral, physical or even end-of-life issues. Call 703.259.9012 or email

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