When it comes time to take a vacation, the decision must be made, to take the furry members of your family or leave them? Here are some tips for both choices to keep your vacations fun, and your pets happy.
Leaving your pets at home
If you decide to vacation without your pet, here are some things to think about. If you want to go the route of a kennel, be sure to check into how the kennel is run so you know how your pet will be treated. Do they have beds for your pet, or do they sleep on concrete floors? Do they have yard time? Are they given attention from the people working there? Do they charge extra for administering medication? What is the feeding schedule? Asking these questions and more will ensure a pleasant stay for your pet, and less anxiety for you.
Another option would be to check into “pet sitters”. This is a surprisingly inexpensive and very convenient option. You have to be ok with someone in your home with you not there. This option is usually easier for pets and great for pets with anxiety issues. In my area the cost for three, thirty minute visits a day, including giving meds and grabbing the mail, comes to the same as a stay at my local kennel. Pet sitters will usually take your pets for walks, feed them, and give them plenty of one on one time. Most will offer shorter visits if you’re on a tighter budget. A big plus is your pet feels at home because he is at home.
Taking your pet along
By Air or Sea: Be sure to do the research to find out if your accommodations in fact, allow for pets. If you are leaving the country, find out if your pet needs a “pet passport”. (It is in fact a real thing). Also check to see what immunizations your pet will need. Be sure to check in to rules and regulations for flying with your pet as well.
Traveling by Car: Be sure to plan out stops along the way, where it is safe for your pet to stretch his legs and relieve himself. This will help get rid of pent up energy your pet may have from being trapped in a small space. If it is going to be a particularly long trip, make sure you have prior arrangements for sleeping and eating for your pet as well.
Always be sure check with campgrounds you may stay at, or city you are staying in to find out the leash rules or if there are certain areas designated for walking your pet. Make sure your pet has a collar on at all times, and of course, Pet ID Tag with information to reach you. A simple name and phone number is best. Doing the preparation and research before hand, can go a long way toward ensuring a safe, happy journey for you and your furry family member.