Come holiday time; you will have to make a very important decision: travel with your doggo or have him temporarily set up with a dog boarding kennel or a trusted pet sitter. Do not wait until the last minute to make plans for your pet. While you are on vacation, you will be content and relaxed in the knowledge that your canine companion is in safe hands.
Vacation time offers much-needed respite from stress and a chance to spend time with friends and family. A change of one’s routine is always welcome, particularly if you have been under much pressure at work. Unfortunately, our furry friends may not feel the same way.
What Does Your Pet Think?
When you are planning a vacation, how much you will enjoy, it will depend largely on your pet, and your unique circumstances. You have to consider your dog’s personality. For example, is sociable or shy? Does he get excited at the sight, sound, and smell of new things, especially strangers? Does he like riding in the car? If he goes to live with someone, does that person have a friendly pet or is living with someone who has allergies?
Some dogs do not mind dog boarding arrangements at the local kennel. They may prefer this to homes where there are too-active toddlers who might pull their hair or play too rough. Even a gentle pupper could scratch a young child without meaning to, and this could affect an otherwise perfect arrangement. There are also pups that may suffer from separation anxiety and refuse to eat if they are in a strange place.
What Are Your Vacation Plans?
When planning a vacation, consider your destination. Some hotels and tourist spots do not allow dogs — most of those that welcome pets often offer accommodations that involve outdoor stays and hiking trips.
If you are gone for a short time, it may also be possible to leave pups at home, as long as they are trained to use the litter box. Timed meals are important because some dogs are capable of eating the equivalent of four days of food in one sitting if given a chance. If you have younger pups, they may wreak havoc in their environment if unsupervised. It is a good idea to arrange for someone, such as a friend, family member, neighbor, or even a pet sitter to visit your pet daily for walks and potty breaks and to check their supply of food and water. Dogs will also appreciate the companionship and the opportunity to have someone to play with.
What Are Your Dog Boarding Options?
A kennel is an excellent option for your pup, provided he is comfortable enough in it. Reputable kennels will require you to provide proof of your dog’s healthcare, such as the vaccines he has had and any treatments or medication he may have been prescribed by the vet. Some of the best facilities provide top-notch accommodations that include sofas in pet lounges, playtime with the rest of the guests, and CCTV-monitored areas that livestream activities so you can view what your pet is up to while you are away.
Before signing up for a dog boarding service, ask veterinarians and other clients for recommendations, then make a personal visit to see for yourself. This is necessary to ensure that your pet will be comfortable and safe in a new environment and that any special needs he may have will be satisfied with the staff.
Your favorite veterinarian may also offer kennel space, particularly for dogs who have health issues and need close monitoring. If not, ask your vet for any recommendations about dog boarding facilities.
Getting a Pet Sitter
Pet sitters monitor and care for their ward on-site and on schedule. Make sure to hire someone who has experience and has the right knowledge and skills to handle situations with your pet. It is also important that your pet is comfortable with your pet sitter. Have them meet before your vacation to see how they interact. Ask the pet sitter for references. Lastly, try searching for professional organizations such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International.
Your Pets’ Special Medical Needs
Before your vacation, make sure that the caretaker is informed of the needs of your pet, particularly if he requires medication or special attention due to health issues. Detailed information is important, along with contact information of your vet and emergency numbers, including yours. You may also need to leave authorization to the caretaker in case your pet requires emergency medical care, so ask your vet about this.
If you are traveling with your pet to a vacation destination where his presence is allowed, there are requirements you need to bring, including proof of his health status. Ask your veterinarian for your pet’s Health Certificate. This is required of pets that cross state lines or travel by plane.
To keep your vacation plans smooth and stress-free, call hotels and airlines in advance for your pet’s accommodations. There are requirements you must meet, such as the maximum size that a pet carrier must have to qualify as carry on luggage. Getting these arrangements in place is important to avoid inconvenience and unnecessary cost.
Ready to Vacay?
It is important to ensure that your pet is comfortable during your vacation. Knowing that your pet is safe and happy will help you relax and enjoy your time away from home. Your pet has been a good boy/girl, so he/she deserves a happy vacation too.