Before you can leave for a trip, especially leaving your dog alone for the first time, there’s some prep work involved to ensure you come back to a happy, healthy pup.

A dog is like a two-year old. Anytime her parents leave, she’s very excited and can’t wait for her parents to come back. And like babies, our furbabies’ hearts grow fonder with every passing moment. With this in mind, what are some important things that you can do to ensure that your dog has the easiest time possible while you’re away?

Keep the routine

Routine is a dog’s best friend. Life can become hectic for you, but as long as your pup stays on a consistent routine, it will be much easier to leave her for a few days or even a few weeks. The more structured your routine is, the better your pup’s transition will be.

Routine means keep the feeding times the same every day. Keep a consistent exercise and pooping ritual. Coming and going around the same time everyday, and sleeping around the same time everyday are important as well.

Don’t linger on the goodbye

Having a routine is important, and part of that routine should be leaving without saying goodbye and staying too long. The more emotion you show to your pup when you leave, the more challenging it is for your dog to understand why you’re leaving. Think of it like this: if you’re sad when you leave your dog, how do you think your dog feels? If you want your dog to stay docile and happy while you’re gone, it’s important to keep those goodbyes to a minimum.

Get your dog really, really tired

A tired pup is a good pup for everyone involved. An extra tired pup is an extra good pup right before travel. Go for that long run, play fetch for an hour, or do something pretty strenuous with your pup the day or hours before you go. A tired, sleeping dog will make the transition much easier. Just don’t leave in the middle of the night when your pup is sleeping. Nothing is worse than waking up without parents around!