Summer fun: Include your furry friends!

Making plans for a vacation?  Whether you’re adventuring locally for a day or getting away from it all for a week, plan ahead for your pet.  Is he coming with you, or will he stay home?  Here are some tips to send you on your way:

  • If you’re leaving your pet at home, hire a pet sitter.  (For your dog, get a live-in sitter.)  Ask your veterinarian, trainer, friends, and neighbors for referrals.  Who do they trust to care for their pets?  Meet the sitter at your home for an interview.  Ask about references and experience.  Let your pet meet the sitter while you’re there to ease his transition.  Perhaps do a trial period for a day or a weekend so you know that the sitter & Fluffy did well in your absence.
  • Research kennels for your dog.  Again, dependable referrals are invaluable.  Visit the kennel and interview the staff.  If the kennel also has a daycare, let Rover spend a day there before your trip.  If all goes well, let him stay overnight while you’re home.  Be sure to get a report on his visit from the kennel staff.  Of course, ask your vet if Rover is current on all the necessary immunizations first.  The kennel will want written proof that he is protected.
  • If your pet will travel with you, do your homework first.  Contact your airline for instructions.  Do you need a health certificate from your veterinarian?  AAA has tips for traveling with your pet.  Visit their office to buy their book, “Traveling With Your Pet:  The AAA Book”.  The Petaluma Animal Shelter has tips (with pics) on safely securing Rover in your car for road trips.  Drs. Foster & Smith also offer a few pointers.  And the ASPCA offers helpful air & road travel tips.
  • Day trips, like hiking with your dog, also require preparation.  Make sure Rover is physically fit for the trip.  Bring lots of water and snacks.  Pack a first aid kit for him.  Go when the weather is pleasant.  Take breaks often.  And talk with your vet about flea & tick prevention.  Stay on trails to avoid foxtails, snakes, etc.  Be a responsible pet owner and pick up after Rover.   Obey local leash laws.  Check dogplay.com for terrific links to info on hiking, running, camping & more – all with Rover!

Enjoy exploring this summer with the peace of mind that your pet is safe and happy.

© 2008 CritterConsulting

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