How to keep your pet safe and happy while you vacation
Summer is here, and with that comes the promise of vacation—camping trips, long mountain hikes and sunbathing by the beach. But as you have begun planning your vacation, have you wondered how to keep your pet safe and happy while you vacation?
Leaving your pet at home while you are traveling can be stressful for an pet who is used to spending every night with his family. With these few tips, you can make your pet more comfortable while you are gone.
Should I Bring My Pet Along?
If you will only be traveling for a few hours, especially to a familiar destination, there should be no problem with bringing your pet along for the ride. A several hour trip to a location where your pet will spend most of his time in an unfamiliar place may be more stressful on your pet than leaving them at home. If you will be traveling by plane, the risks of flying may not be worth the trip.
If you think traveling with your pet is the option for you, check out these safety tips on our Blog. There are a lot of options if your pet gets anxious or motion sick while traveling. Call us today to get any needed medications for your pet to ensure that they have a happy, healthy vacation!
Keeping Your Pet Safe at Home While You Vacation
The best way to keep your pet safe while you are gone is to hire a pet-sitter or have a friend or family member check on him regularly. Professional United Pet Sitters (PUPS) suggests three visits per day for indoor-only pets, and at least one visit daily for indoor/outdoor animals.
Have your pet-sitter visit at least once before you leave. This will help your pet to not feel threatened when they arrive at your house after you have left. Schedule your pet-sitter’s visits around your pet’s normal daily routine. When he knows he will still have his walks and meals at the usual times, his anxiety level can be kept to a minimum. Make sure to leave both your contact information and a number for your vet, along with anything the sitter will need to know about your pet’s diet or medical needs. Also make sure that any prescription medications and foods are refilled.
Talk to your pet sitter about your routines:
- What time is your pet usually fed?
- What time do they typically go for walks or go outside?
- Do they need to be on a leash at all times or can they roam in the yard?
- Do the get anxious when you are away?
- Should they be crated or confined when no one is in the house?
- How active is your pet? Will they require lots of play time or walks?
- Are they are medications that your pet must receive?
- What time are the medications typically given? Do they need to be given with meals?
- What does a normal day look like? If your pet sitter is prepared they will be able to detect changes in your pets behavior or routine.
Boarding Your Pet While You Are Away
In some cases, it simply may not be possible to keep your furry friend at home while you’re on vacation. Perhaps he needs close supervision because of a medical condition, or maybe you just don’t want him alone in the house. Whatever the case, boarding your pet can be a solution. If you are planning on boarding or kenneling your pet make sure that they have all the necessary vaccinations needed for the kennel. Most kennels require the bordetella and influenza vaccine as well as routine vaccinations such as rabies and distemper. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out if your pet needs boosters! You should schedule your pets vaccines, at least 2-4 weeks ahead of time to ensure their protection.
If your pet has never been kenneled before it is a good idea to do a trial day and see how your pet does. Most kennels will allow this to ensure that it will be a good fit for your pet. Bring any medications and food that your pet is on to the kennel so that their regular routine can be maintained while you are away. Also notify the kennel of your veterinarian’s name and address in case your pet needs medical attention while you are away.
Try these tips for easing anxiety if your pet has to be boarded:
- Talk to the boarders. Find out what kind of things they will allow you to bring from home, and let them know if your pet has any medical issues to look out for or suffers from separation anxiety.
- Send along some of your animal’s favorite toys, his bed, and even an old shirt or pillow that smells like you. But if it’s something that you absolutely don’t want lost or ruined, leave it at home.
- Make sure that he will get plenty of exercise at the kennel. Ideally, he should be able to spend several hours a day in a big play yard, socializing with the other pets that are at the kennel. If not, he should at least get several walks a day.
You have choices when it comes to keeping your pet safe and happy while you vacation. Leaving your pets behind when you travel can be hard; but with a little planning, you can make their trip with you or stay at home an enjoyable adventure.
If you need any help determining with route to take with your pet this summer, reach out to us. We’re happy to help!