Summer Holidays and Your Pets
While we enjoy our pets and love spending time with them, there may be some occasions where taking our 4 legged friend on holidays with us may be too stressful or difficult. This is the time where, as a family, you need to weigh the pros and cons of pet care such as boarding facilities or having a pet sitter care for your pet. Just as we research and plan our holidays, we need to apply the same effort to finding good care for our pet.
When considering a boarding kennel there are some key points to consider:
- Are they a registered and licenced facility? Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau?
- Visit in advance to determine its cleanliness, its use of space and staffing
- Are there areas for senior or smaller dogs? a separate area for cats? What does the outdoor space for exercise look like?
- Do the staff have specialized training in animal behaviour?
- Is there 24 hr supervision?
- Are they able to administer medication?
- How do they handle pet emergencies? Do they have a veterinarian on-call?
- How are the pets fed and can they accommodate special diets?
- What are the sleeping arrangements? Do they have both open areas for sleep as well as kenneled space? - If your pet is not crate-trained, having to do so in a kennel could be stressful if not prepared!
Does the facility offer other services such as grooming, or training on-site?
- Do they complete a pre-stay screening assessment to understand your pets’ behaviours and special needs?
- Do they offer webcam viewing?
So, now you have found the boarding facility/pet sitter you want to use. Now what? Book early to avoid disappointment! Be sure to have a list of instructions for your pet, their medications, special food, leashes, veterinary information and emergency contact numbers ready. It is also advisable to have a Delegation of Authority provided to your pet’s caregivers in your absence, to act on your behalf in the case of a medical emergency, and to verify that your pet was in good health prior to your leaving.
When planning holidays, make sure to put as much care and attention into your pet’s arrangements as you do your own. Prior to leaving, be sure to check with your veterinarian that your four-legged friend has sufficient medications for the duration of the holiday and vaccinations are up to date. Always leave instructions for your pet’s care and your emergency contact numbers. With good planning, everyone can enjoy a relaxing holiday season!