Pets can sometimes make travel difficult, or at least challenging. Do you leave them at home and have someone come in and take care of them? Or do you board them at a kennel? Should you take them with you? It can be quite a dilemma. Here are some pet care tips for travelers that may help you decide what’s best for your pet.
1. Leaving Your Pet at Home
Some experts point out that this is often the least traumatic way of leaving your pet when you go on vacation. While your pet’s routine will be somewhat different, it won’t be the huge change that boarding would be. If you go this route, see if you can hire a neighbor, friend, or family member that your pet is familiar with. If your pet has not interacted with the caretaker before, take some time before your vacation to let your new caretaker get to know your pet(s). Then take your caretaker through the routine. Writing it down to help them remember all the steps is important, but do take them through the routine in person at least once.
There are some cons to leaving your pet in your home. For example, some people are uncertain about having another person in their home when they are gone. Also, if there’s an emergency or problem, a pet staying in your home may not be discovered right away, and would have to be transported to the vet.
Boarding’s biggest asset is probably the availability of vet care. At a professional boarding kennel, your pet will have access to veterinary care close by if necessary. You can also schedule a bath or flea treatment while you’re gone, so your pet is clean and ready to go when you pick him/her up.
Some of the cons to boarding are the expense and the possible trauma to your pet. If your pet gets anxious easily or is very attached to you and your routine, then boarding can be anxiety-producing for your pet.
3. Taking Your Pet With You
If you decide to take your pet with you and you are sure that all destinations (hotels, your final vacation spot, etc.) accept pets, then you will have a different type of preparation to do. For one thing, getting your pet groomed very well before travel is a good idea. He or she will be more comfortable for travel that way (especially if the grooming involves clipping to keep him/her cooler), and your pet will be less likely to leave hair in the car and where you’re staying.If your pet is coming with you, he/she will need a carrier of sorts. A travel crate or carrier is ideal, and keeps your pet safer that if he/she is bouncing around loose in the car. Also, some hotels require or prefer that your animal is crated or in a carrier.