The holiday season has come to an end for some while for some others, it has just begun. Usually, pet owners find themselves in a fix at this time. All of us love to go out during our vacations. But if we have a pet, we do not know what to do about it while we are gone. That is a reason many pet owners cancel their holiday plans. Some are lucky however, as they can leave their pets at a friend’s or relative’s place. But what about the rest of us who do not have any known person whom we can trust with our pet? After all, they too, are like our children and we cannot compromise with their safety and care.
One of the options is to hire a ‘nanny’ to take care of your pet in your own house while you are away. But if your pet is like Marley from the movie Marley and Me, this is out of the question. We all remember that scene when Marley’s parents return home to find their home in a complete mess all because of their uncontrollable dog. I am sure nobody wants to find themselves in such a situation. So you can always try the next option, this is, find a Pet sitter or a Kennel or a Doggie Daycare where your pet will be with other pets and will also be well taken care of.
However, if there is absolutely no way that you are going to stay away from your four-legged baby, then there are a few things that you must keep in mind before travelling.
• First and foremost, you must check with the vet if it is alright for your pet to travel. If your pet is very young or very old or has some sickness then travelling will not be feasible for him. Also ask about what medications you need to carry for your pet. But as far as possible, medicines must be avoided when they are unnecessary.
• If the vet approves of the travelling, the next thing you must do is to find out thoroughly about the place you want to go to. You have to check if it is pet friendly and if there are any rules regarding pets. Some places may require the pets entering there to have specific vaccinations.
• Always carry your pet’s medical papers along and try to make a note of the vets in your holiday destination, just in case of an emergency.
• Suppose you are making plans of staying in a hotel, then you must enquire if the hotels there allow pets or not.
• Keeping in mind the safety of your pet, it is suggested that the little one wears a collar with his details and yours, at all times. It is even better if a microchip with the latest details is used. These precautionary measures might come in handy in the possibility of your pet getting lost.
• Another important thing to be remembered is manners. Train your pet to follow orders and behave well at all times so that it will not create problems for you or the people around you.
After all of these things have been taken care of you can safely move on to the next phase which is, travelling. The two modes usually preferred are automobiles and airplanes.
When you are travelling with your pet it is better to travel in a car as you can take care of everything yourself. Try to have small practice sessions with your pet by taking it on short journeys, so that it will be well prepared for the actual, long journey. Make use of pet belts or a leash to restrain your pet while you drive as it is reported that many accidents are caused by pets in the front seat. Having your pet not moving around the car is better as you will be able to concentrate better and it is also insisted for the safety of the pet. During the journey, stop every 2-3 hours so that your pet can relieve itself. Also, NEVER leave your pet behind in the car even for a short time. The temperature outside and also overheating of the car might make it an oven for the poor animal, which might end up in fatalities.
Go through the guidelines and requirements for pets, of the airlines that you wish to travel in. try to get your pet used to being in a crate as this is how the airlines would want the pet to be. Some airlines take pets in their cargo compartment and this might not be very comfortable for pets. There are also some rules and regulations for specific breeds of pets while travelling. Do not have a goodbye scene as this will make your pet anxious.
Be sure to calm your pet always by saying nice things and never let your tone become sad or worried as this anxiousness can pass on to your pet. Also carry your pet’s favorite toy, blanket and other things that might calm it down. Do take your pet for a long walk so that it burns of the excess energy and sleeps throughout the journey. It should not eat or drink to a full stomach because then the problem might arise of taking it to the loo. Above all, the comfort of your pet must be thought about.