Let’s be honest, holidays are a purely human invention! No other species needs to get out of their daily rhythm to feel good. By the same token, we provide our companions with a period of rest when we go on vacation or bring them with us, in the hope that they will also benefit from it, but that is not necessarily the case.
Regardless of whether we bring our companion with us, have him stay at home, he will feel the change in our attitude and will be fully aware of a routine change when packing. And even if he will certainly be fine with you or in good hands, the fact remains that he will have to adapt to the situation.
Over the decades, animals have developed a capacity for adaptation following domestication, because in order to live alongside us and follow our evolution, they have had to learn to accept changes. Despite this, even if new toys, activities or others can allow our animals to vary their daily lives, they prefer the habits and situations known. This allows them to evolve in a routine setting that gives them the opportunity to control at least what is going on around them and to feel safe. It is for this reason that it is often preferable, when you go on holiday, regardless of whether the animal is with you or not, to bring the usual basket, the “blanky”, the bowl and a few toys.
Just as with humans, there are animals for whom the change of environment will not cause a problem on their behavior, while for others, even if prepared, the change will bring stress and discomfort.
Some studies have shown that the most anxious dogs in an unfamiliar environment may not distinguish between their master and a stranger. The unknown environment seemed to be the strongest cause of anxiety in them, so it became very difficult for them to find comfort with a human, no matter who he is. For others, the anxiety was lessened if their master was nearby.
As for cats, the same studies have shown that they would be less likely to exhibit stress behaviours in the presence of their masters. However, the cat does not use the attachment figure, besides the master, as a basis of security to help him explore. However, it is very difficult to adapt this type of study to cats, as their behaviour is very difficult to observe outside their territory. What is certain is that if they are transported away from home, they will lose some control, which could make it difficult to adapt according to age and temperament.
The attraction for change is less strong in the cat than in the dog, probably because of the differences that exist between the two in the process of domestication as well as in their reactions and behaviors. The fact remains, however, that according to experiences, race and temperament, there will be some among these two species who will be reassured in the presence of their master, regardless of the situation, and others who will need references to feel good.
On either side, if you plan to take your pet with you everywhere, or if you know you will be the type to travel and keep it occasionally, then get him used to it as soon as possible. It is from an early age that the dog, like the cat, can be sensitized to different stimuli. He must be sociable and also be able to know different environments in order to develop harmoniously and not to trigger fear every time you take the car or another means of transport, or whenever you put him in contact with other animals.