Pets and the holidays
Making your pet’s holiday a happy one is very simple if you plan ahead.
Kennels and Catteries
Good catteries and kennels are booked up well in advance for this time of year so if you have not yet booked your pet’s hotel you will have to make an alternative plan.
Pets going in a kennel or cattery should be up to date with their vaccinations, try to do these at least two weeks before their holiday begins. It is always best to get a booster vaccination for Kennel Cough for dogs at this time as well. Kennel cough although not serious is unpleasant for your pet.
To make the place a bit more like home take their bed or blankie with as well as favourite toys and treats. It is important not to make too much fuss of them when you leave them or when you collect them. Pets are sensitive to our moods so keep things calm and neutral.
Always make sure the staff have as much information as you can provide about your pet and very importantly numbers to contact you or a person who can be responsible for decisions if you are not available. Although most kennels / catteries have a veterinary practice they use, do leave your vet’s contact details as well. Things the staff will need to know; medications, special feeding requirements, specific commands that you use for eating or toileting. If your pet has any funny habits let them know so that although it might not be normal for most pets it is “normal” for yours!
If you are leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter make sure the person has all the important information. What and how to feed and clear instructions for any medication they need. Make sure the pet and the sitter are familiar with each other. The last thing you want is your dog attacking the sitter as they come to feed him! Always leave your contact details and your pet’s vets contact number.
If you are leaving your pet with your domestic worker make sure they know who to contact in an emergency, if the pet gets sick or if it goes missing. Makes sure they know who they can contact to transport the pet to the vet or help them with an internet search for lost pets.
If you are going to be in the bush or overseas with no cell phone reception you must make sure your sitter can authorise treatment on your behalf and pay! Alternatively get your vet to put a note on your pet’s file regarding this.
Remember it is NOT acceptable to leave a dog at home alone for more than one night. Unless you have someone who can check on and feed the dog twice daily and spend some time fussing and playing with them you need to book them in to a kennel.
Cats are a little different and many can be left for 2 or 3 days so long as you leave sufficient food and water and a safe sleeping place but it is still advisable to have a friend or neighbour check on them daily just in case.
Off On the family hols
For those four footed friends that join you on holiday often the journey is the most stressful time. It is always best to pop your pet in a carrier for safety when traveling. If your pet is flying this must be an airline approved carrier. Try not to feed your pet for four hours before traveling and always allow them to go to the toilet before loading them in.
For some pets this whole experience is so stressful that they need medication to keep them calm. There are many natural antianxiety medications on the market for pets it is best to discuss these with your vet and maybe even trial them on a short journey first. For pets that are very travel sick it may be necessary to give them an antiemetic tablet. If you are giving meds make sure you have enough for the return journey!
When you arrive at your destination take your dog for a nice walk to allow them to run off some steam, distress and go to the toilet. Taking a familiar blanket or bed should help them settle in to their new home. Remember not everywhere is pet friendly so do your homework before you go!