Preparing your pets for holidays

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Are you getting ready for a long-awaited holiday? You probably have plenty of preparation and planning to do, especially if you have pets. Whether taking your pet with you or leaving it with a trusted caregiver, there is still much to take care of.

Travelling with your pet

If you are travelling by car, you should make sure that you have everything you need to make your pet comfortable. Some things you will want to keep close by include:

  • Your pet’s leash
  • Bags for waste/bathroom stops
  • Food
  • Water
  • A favourite toy

Your pet should be wearing a collar or harness with up-to-date tags on it. Having your pet microchipped is wise, also.

If you happen to be travelling with a cat, you may want to keep them in a carrier or crate. Cats typically won’t eat, drink, or use a litter box while on the road. They will probably wait until you reach your destination.

When travelling by air, you will need to contact the airline ahead of time. Each airline has specific guidelines that must be followed, and forms that need to be filled out in advance.

Boarding for your pet

If you are planning to leave your pet in a boarding facility, start looking for the perfect place as early as possible. Visit the facility by yourself first, and then, when you find one you like, bring your pet for a visit if possible. This way your pet isn’t going to a completely unfamiliar place when you leave. You will also get a chance to see how the staff and your pet interact before the holiday begins.

Things to look for include:

  • Friendly staff
  • Cleanliness
  • Living quarters with ample space for the pets
  • Outside areas for pets to play if the weather permits
  • Do the animals look happy?
  • Do animals have fresh water?
  • What policies are in place in case of an emergency?

In-home pet sitter

You may prefer having someone come to, or stay at, your home. If this is the case, you will want to interview potential pet sitters. Handle these interviews much like you would if you were hiring for a professional position.

  • Ask for references and check them
  • Watch the potential sitter interact with your pet
  • Ask how they would handle an emergency
  • Be clear about your expectations

Once you have chosen your pet sitter, be sure you provide them with a schedule to follow. Also, give them information on how to contact you and your veterinarian.

Whether your pet comes with you on your holiday or stays behind, you will want to be sure to take plenty of time to make appropriate arrangements. Your holidays will be much more enjoyable when you go into them with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your pet is having all its’ needs met and is safe. Your pet will appreciate it too.

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