Going on holiday and wondering what to do with Fido or Fluffy? There are typically three main options available to most pet owners.
Taking your pet with you
Whether you are flying or driving to your vacation location, you may be able to bring your pet with you. Although there could be a few hoops to jump through that require advance planning, your animal may be happy to be included.
Some items to consider in well in advance of your departure date:
- If travelling by airline, identify (and double-check) any breed limitations, certificates and pet carrier specifications as soon as possible in order to avoid last-minute surprises.
- The majority of airlines require some type veterinary health certificate, which means a visit to your local clinic for an exam (+/- vaccinations). Holt Veterinary Clinic can provide both domestic and international health certificates.
- Finding a hotel at your final destination may prove troublesome, but pet-friendly hotel chains can be identified online.
- Avoid hassle while on vacation by considering whether you’ll want to visit tourist spots that are NOT pet friendly. If so, your pet may be better off staying at home.
- Make arrangements for where will your pet stay and who will walk your pet if you’re out for the day, whether your destination is a hotel or relative’s house.
Sending your furry friend to "camp" or the dog/cat kennel is typically the most popular option for those going on holiday. Some kennels are "stand-alone" in that they ONLY do boarding for animals, while others are attached to veterinary clinics, which could prove beneficial in the event your pet requires medical attention.
Some other items to consider:
- A good boarding facility should require certain vaccinations for an animal to stay there, including canine kennel cough (Bordetella).
- You should have ability to bring your own food for Fido or Fluffy. This is important if your pet has special dietary requirements, such as prescription food or allergies.
- Kennels should have staff trained to administer certain medications for your pet such as arthritis medication.
- Fido or Fluffy may appreciate a special item from home such as a favorite toy or bedding, but a good kennel will make safety a priority.
Hiring a petsitter
If you have an elderly pet or a cat that will NOT go into its carrier, a petsitter could be your answer. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters maintains a website (petsitters.org) that allows users to find a petsitter by zip code. A good petsitter should meet with you and your pet before your vacation begins to become familiar with your pet, and should be able to provide proof of insurance and multiple references.
Some items to consider:
- Ask the petsitter who will be present in your home during visits, such as children or anyone other than the petsitter.
- If you have a shy pet, ask your pet sitter to be locate your pet(s) during each visit and observe your pet(s) to determine that they seem happy and healthy. (A checklist with the dates of your travel, contact information and a place to check off each visit might serve as a gentle reminder, too.)
- Authorize the pet sitter to transport your pet to the veterinarian and to consent to care by giving them a letter to bring with them. (Consider how you’d like them to respond if you’re difficult to locate while on vacation – in the event of an emergency, valuable time can be saved by thinking ahead!)
- Decide how often you want someone to attend to your pet: the increased cost of having a visitor come to your house up to four times daily can be too much for some pet owners, but most pets require at least three visits.
- Know your pet: some animals may get depressed from the lack of social interaction (with humans AND other animals).
If you have any questions or would like to make boarding reservations, please don’t hesitate to call us at 214 361-2834. Boarding fills up quickly and reservations are required, so please call as soon as possible to reserve space for your pet!