So, you are planning a vacation. Everything is ready to go - but what do you do with the cat? Boarding kennels and pet sitters are good alternatives, but when you enjoy the company of your pet do you really need to leave them behind? Before including your pet in your vacation plans, be sure that the trip is appropriate for their age, health and personality.
· Is your pet adaptable and would they enjoy a change of scenery?
· Do they have health problems that may cause a problem away from home?
· Do they enjoy being in the car for several hours?
· Would they be included in your vacation plans or would they spend many hours in a hotel room while you are out sightseeing?
If any one of these questions you are not sure of the answers, talk to your veterinarian about the alternatives.
Before you go, ensure that all vaccinations are current. For many destinations, proof of rabies vaccination and health certificates are required. Make sure that you have an adequate supply of any medication that your pet may require while you are away - ensure that it is clearly labeled and contained. Remember DO NOT store your pets medication in the glove compartment of your car. The temperatures that this compartment reach can destroy the effectiveness of the medication.
Make sure that your pet is wearing their collar complete with rabies tag and licensing information in case you get separated. Also include an ID tag with your information as well as an emergency contact. After all, you will not be at home to answer the call. A microchip is a great means of identification with the pets and the owners information available upon demand. Be sure to keep this information current and complete.
Do Your Homework
It is important that your pet will be accepted at all your destinations. When calling ahead for reservations at your airline, hotel, motel or campground verify their policies about pets.
Try not to leave your pet alone in your room. They can easily hurt themselves or cause damage in the room. It is also possible that they may start crying which will disturb the other guests. Be sure to advise the maid that your pet is in the room in order to avoid breaks for freedom.
If you are shipping your pet by air or rail, place them in a sturdy carry box or cage. Avoid using cardboard cartons because they can break open or be crushed by other luggage. You should also inquire about the weather - many pets suffer from exposure to cold on station platforms, in baggage cars, in vehicles and through airline baggage handling. Attach emergency handling instructions for feeding or protection if your pet is going to be out of your care and dependent on others. Make sure owner or address tags cannot be lost.
Travelling with your pet can be an exciting and eventful time. By properly planning you can make your vacation enjoyable for all.