While you’re planning the family vacation, Fido, Fluffy and Spot are planning who to invite over for their couch-eating, floor-scratching, bird-catching, garbage-strewing, peeing-in-the-corner party. The Mother Nature Network provides ideas on what to do with the family pet when you’re out of town so your house and your pet are safe and sound when you get home.
Veterinary clinics. Vet clinics are an inexpensive option, and although your pet won’t be drinking water out of a champagne glass or sleeping on designer pillows while getting a manicure, he will be in good hands—a veterinarian’s hands. Unless your dog, cat or other pet is a regular patient, you’ll need to provide up-to-date shot records and a bordetella vaccine. Check on whether you need to supply the food and bedding before your pet checks in.
Pet daycare. The last thing you want as you’re about to catch the best wave of your life while enjoying your Hawaiian vacation is an overwhelming sense of guilt about leaving your pet in a cage with Uncle Terry. If your pet is sociable, he will be having just as much fun as you are at a pet daycare center. The same shot records and bordetella vaccine required by a vet clinic will also be required at pet daycare. When choosing a pet daycare, find one that has enough human monitors to handle unruly critters. You may want to ask a friend for a referral and visit the center in person. Some even have pet daycare cameras on their website, so after you’re done surfing waves, you can surf the Internet and watch your best friend frolic with friends.
Pet sitters. Finding a reputable pet sitter might take some time, but if you have multiple pets or pets that don’t play well with others, it might be worth the time it takes to find one. Get references from your vet, the local pet store or friends. Ask for references from the pet sitter on the initial visit, and don’t choose someone you don’t feel comfortable with.
Other pets. Most pet boarding establishments focus on dogs and cats. There are, however, facilities that house exotic pets, non-traditional pets and birds while you’re away. Find a facility with strict health requirements. It’s a bit of a hassle on your end and a little more expensive, but if your pet’s healthy, it will remain healthy.
Boarding checklist. The following suggestions will make finding boarding easier:
- Make a reservation as far in advance as possible.
- Get shot records and other necessary paperwork in order.
- Don’t forget the food and bedding, if required.
- Make a list of special instructions, if necessary.
- Your animal’s possessions can get damaged or lost. In other words, leave the diamond-studded collar at home.
- Leave contact information while you’re gone and a local contact in case of emergency.