If you’re a pet owner who’s planning a vacation, chances are you’ll be leaving your pets in someone else’s care while you travel. While some pets travel well and many hotels offer pet-friendly accommodations, many animals would be happier staying at home or spending a week with other dogs than passing days in a hotel room while you’re sightseeing or relaxing on the beach.
If you decide not to bring your pets when you travel, here are a few things to do to help make the vacation just as relaxing and enjoyable for your furry friends as it is for you.
First, decide who will look after your pets. You have a few options: you can leave them with trusted friends and family, hire a pet sitter, or board them in a kennel. If your pet is timid, elderly, or prefers familiar surroundings, your best option is likely to hire a pet sitter or a nearby trusted acquaintance to stop by your house to exercise, clean, feed and water your pet. If your pet is more social, easygoing, and gets along well with other animals, a kennel might be a good choice for you.
If you choose a pet sitter, conduct an interview and ask for references. Call other pet owners who have used this sitter’s services and ask them about their experience.
Once you’ve found a pet sitter you’re happy with, be sure to provide them with your vacation contact information, your veterinarian’s contact information in case of emergency, and a list outlining your pet’s dietary needs, exercise requirements, instructions for any medications they’re taking, and any other important details.
If you choose to board at a kennel, ask your vet to recommend a reputable kennel in your area. Pay a visit to the kennel to make sure it’s clean, well ventilated, and a comfortable temperature. Check that there’s plenty of space for dogs and cats to move around comfortably, and ask about exercise and feeding schedules. If your pet requires medication, ensure that staff members are able to administer it. Finally, chat with staff to make sure you feel comfortable that they’re caring and knowledgeable about pet care.
Book your pet’s kennel reservation as early as possible since kennels can fill up fast, especially during heavy travel periods like holidays and long weekends. Don’t forget to provide your full travel contact information as well as any special instructions for caring for your pet and your veterinarian’s contact information.
Regardless of who’s looking after your pets while you’re on vacation, speak to your veterinarian about emergency care before you travel. See if you can arrange to be billed for any emergency treatments after you return, or whether your vet clinic will accept a signed authorization for pet care if the need arises.
Now that you’ve made all the necessary arrangements, it’s time to relax and enjoy your vacation – and look forward to all the pet snuggles you’ll get to enjoy when you arrive home!