Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

Holidays should be fun, whether travelling to family, or family coming to you, getting away for a work break, or from the household routines.

But what if you have four-legged kids as well? Unsure of how to plan your holiday because of your extended furry family? Follow these tips to ease your concerns and ensure that you and your pets enjoy a great holiday together or even apart.

Family and friend gatherings at home during the holiday season

When friends or relatives come to stay, excitement often rules around the home. Bursts of laughter, new aromas, and occasional loud music may overwhelm your pet and could lead to her having an unpleasant time of it. When hosting an event at your house give some thought to your pet’s reactions. These can be easily accommodated by allowing your inquisitive housemate to meet the new folk out there having fun. Keep sudden loud noises to a minimum during this time as they could cause overexcitement, fear, or distress. Once everyone has settled and the fun continues, occasionally give your pet one-on-one attention as well as a comfortable retreat when the activities become too much.

With gatherings like these, inevitably delicious scraps will be a great temptation. For good health, your pet should keep away from ‘human food’ since many are potentially harmful e.g., cooked bones that can splinter, chocolates, garlic, chives, and all foods that contain xylitol or high quantities of salt.

Leaving home for a short- or long-term getaway

When travelling with your pet, take the time to arrange your accommodation in advance. Many venues welcome pets but far more don’t, so avoid the nasty surprise of arriving where pets are not allowed. Unless travelling privately, just getting to your destination can be quite a challenge. Before running into problems find out if the transportation service allows your kind of pet on board. What is available for cats and bunnies may not be available for dogs. Commercial flying provides a full set of unique obstacles, generally requiring your pet to be sedated and travel in a cage or crate to reduce any risks. Before deciding on this consult your vet on sedatives and dosages. Then research what vaccinations your pet needs to allow entry to the destination country or region. e.g., canine influenza, Bordetella, parainfluenza, etc. Specialised pet travel consultants can best explain these requirements, but a vet’s opinion is also essential. Your pet will also have to adapt to being caged/crated since this will decrease the chances of injury when waking. In short, a good pet hotel may well be the most economical, safest, and happiest choice to save your pet from unnecessary stress.

Another option is a pet sitter. For this invaluable service, most turn to family or friends, because they are trustworthy and know your pet, its home, and routines. Professional pet sitters, some well trained for the job, may be just a few clicks away on your internet search engine. Whether professional or amateur be sure to provide your pet sitter with all necessary information, regarding medication, specific food needs, and relevant emergency numbers.

Holidays are meant for relaxation and preparing proper care for your pet will be the first step toward de-stressing your overburdened spirit.

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