It is not always possible to travel with your pet and arranging proper care is quite challenging. Therefore, families with pets find it difficult to go for a vacation. Exploring options to chalk out a holiday pet care plan according to preferences and requirements is crucial.
Today many pet-care facilities and options are available in most cities.
Recently a family in our neighbourhood had to travel and could not take their dog along. They decided to put it in a kennel for a week. They took their dog to a pet care facility. Within few hours, they received a call that their pet was unwell. By the time the family reached the kennel, their pet had died. Many times in such cases, pets feel abandoned and go into shock.
Research of all pet care options is a must. Here are some things to consider
Pet Care Options
Keeping Pet at Home
Leaving a pet at home is a good solution if a friend or neighbour can visit and check regularly. Dogs may require two visits in a day, and cats are fine with one visit. However, at times, friends and neighbours may not be available, and you need a different solution.
Cats are not very social and prefer to stay in a known surroundings. If you are going on a short vacation, a cat can be left at home. Therefore, for cat owners the best solution is to let the cat stay at home and keep a window open for it to go in and out. You have to be extra careful with cats as they have a tendency to jump and push things. It is best to pack away fragile stuff that can get damaged or hurt your cat.
Investing in pet food dispensers is helpful if you decide to leave your pets at home. These dispense small quantity of food at regular intervals for pets to feed and are good for both cats and dogs.
Leaving pet with another family
Dogs can be left with other families while you are on vacation. If you decide to leave your dog with a friend, it is good to visit their house to get it acquainted with the new family and surroundings.
If the family has a pet, both pets need to know each other to get along. On initial visits, your dog may be a little aloof or even stressed but with frequent visits it will be fine.
Shy dogs require more time to get accustomed to a new place. It helps if they are in care of familiar people; whether at your house or someone else’s.
Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter
Professional pet sitters are available in many cities. They visit twice a day for dogs and once for cats. Their charges are quite high and need to be negotiated. Before hiring a professional pet sitter checking his credentials and his references is a must.
Kennels are good boarding options. These kennels have living facilities for pets providing complete care.
Selecting a Kennel
- Inspect the kennel premises
- Go unannounced to check the conditions and how pets are treated.
- Observe the workers and their behaviour with pets.
- Check cleanliness standards.
- Ask if you are required to provide pet food.
- Enquire how often your dog will be walked.
- Ask whether your dog will have to interact with other dogs.
- Find out the procedure followed if your dog gets sick or injured.
Pet parents need to know what kind of veterinary services and hospitals are available. They can even request the kennel to take their dog to their own vet if any medical attention is required.
Preparing your dog for kennel
Prepare your dog for his kennel stay to avoid complications.
Here is a list,
- Get a health check. Get all vaccinations and medication up-to-date.
- Bathe your dog before admitting.
- Make your pet flea-free.
- Get preferred food if the kennel doesn’t provide.
- Share any peculiar traits, likes, dislikes and social behaviour with the caretakers.
- Let your dog spend few hours or a whole day before admitting.
- Pack few favourite toys or things
Remember, traditional boarding is a good option for dogs that are happy and easy going and not those who are prone to anxiety. Also, socialization of pets is essential, otherwise, if your pet is not used to other animals it can have problems.
Pet care instructions to the kennel
The kennel managers need to know few details about your pet. A detailed list of instructions is helpful instead of just describing few qualities of your pet.
- Share details of health problems, allergies, vaccination and medication details with kennel owners.
- Kennel cough is a common. Your dog may catch it from in a kennel if there is an infection in other dogs. Check with the vet to take necessary precautions.
- Food references and choices.
- Indicate strong dislikes, likes, peculiar traits, and fears inhibitions your pet may have.
- Discuss activities carried out in kennels or boarding places. If the kennel has a pool activity every day and your dog is scared of water the caretakers need to be informed ahead.
- The boarding facility should have your phone numbers as well as local emergency contacts. Many times when pet parents are away and cannot reach quickly local friends can act as emergency contacts.
After locating the right boarding facility you should make a reservation in advance to avoid last minute problems.
Create a plan after scrutinizing all the factors to avoid confusion and discomfort. You will enjoy the holiday more if you are not worried about the pet’s well-being.
Featured Image Source: Flickr