While family members can make the visit to your college or can talk to you on the phone, with pets it is not as easy. While you talk on the phone to your family, the animals cannot understand that it is you on the phone. This makes it very challenging to stay in touch with animals when away. And personally, that was a very hard realization for me because I was very close with my dog at home. Therefore, with practice last year, here are five ways that I was able to stay connected with my dog.
1. FaceTime calls.
With technology these days, I am very lucky to live in a time that I am able to have FaceTime calls with my dog. If you set up a time once a week to FaceTime your mom when she's home, you can pan the camera to face your pet. Even though my dog still doesn't know that it is me on the other side, I still get to see his little face in the camera and hear his barks.
2. Have a parent send pictures of your pet.
When missing your animal, sometimes simply just a picture of them helps a lot. When texting your mom, simply ask for a picture of your pet and that way you know what they look like in that moment. I also have pictures of my dog next to my dorm room bed which helps a lot when I am homesick. This is especially cute after your pet got a nice grooming or is celebrating a birthday.
3. If your parents live close to the school, have them bring the pet up for a day trip.
Many times I will see students with pets on our quad and think, man I wish my dog was here too. One way to have that happen is by asking your parents to bring your pet up for the day. He can run around in the quad on campus and meet some furry friends with other pets there too. For students where their pet cannot be transported, maybe come home for a weekend. Say hello to the family while you see your pet for a little bit before going back to school. A home cooked meal while in college never hurts!
4. Leave your pet's bed in your room at home.
For those of you who sleep with their pets, this might be a good option. By leaving your pet's bed in your room, this will allow the pet's routine not to change. This way, when you come home for breaks, you know that your pet will still sleep in your room with you. Also, when away at school and homesick, it might make you feel better knowing that your pet is still sleeping in your room. You might get a few cute pictures of your pet curled up in your room as well:)
5. When you are home, do a lot of activities with your pet.
Being without my dog at college has reminded me to take advantage of the times I am home with him. For example, going on walks with them, feeding them, playing with them, and giving them treats are all good ways to connect with your pet while you are with them. This way, when you leave again, you know that you spent enough time with your pet so you won't miss him as much.