Leaving behind your best friend is no easy task. Pets love unconditionally and constantly, and it can be hard for them when their humans leave home. Having to say goodbye with your pet can feel anything but okay, but here are a few reasons why it will be fine.
1. They’re still loved and safe.
Leaving behind your pet doesn’t mean you’re abandoning them. Your family or whoever you leave your pet with will be taking care of them and loving them. Just because you’re not there doesn’t mean their needs won’t be met, that they won’t get the attention they need or that they won’t be happy. Sure, your pet might be sad or anxious without you, but they will be fine in the end.
2. There’s always video chat.
With Skype and FaceTime and Oovoo or whatever video chat service you use, you can always see your pets. Many pets recognize their owners, even on a screen, and they’ll love to hear your voice and see your face. Video chat can make it seem like you’re in the same room, even if you can’t pet them.
3. Photos are everywhere.
Even if your cats aren’t into Skype-ing you, you can carry photos and videos of them everywhere. You can fill up a digital album before you leave or get your family to send you photos every now and again. It’s very easy to have good photos of your pets with you at all times. The hardest part will be your best friend’s jealousy over your cat being your lock screen.
4. No more poop-scoopin’.
Animal “waste” is not pleasant, we just have to deal with it. But for those times where you don’t get to be with your dog or cat or hamster, you also don’t have to clean cages or litter boxes. Picking up fresh poop is my least favorite part of having a dog, so I won’t be missing that.
5. Less responsibility.
Sometimes having a pet can be really inconvenient. Having to leave your friends to walk or feed your animal is hard, because you want the best for the pet, but you also want to live your life. In college, you won’t want to have to be around to feed your dog twice a day or give your lizard fresh water. If you have a pet in a cage, cleaning it can be very time-consuming and not at all how you want to spend an afternoon during finals week, or when all of your friends are doing something really fun.
6. You’ll appreciate the time you do have together.
When you’re far away and missing your pet, you’re reminded of how much you love them and what you love about them. When you’re home, you’ll spend time doing all of the things that you missed doing with your pet. Your walks in the park will be better and longer and every treat will be more special.
7. They’ll still love you when you get home.
There’s nothing like coming home to an excited pet. When I come back from a week at summer camp, my dog runs up to me like she thought I would never return. Dogs are especially excited when their humans come back, but most animals show it in some way. Their excitement when you get home almost makes it OK that you had to leave.