So you're going on holiday - Congratulations. We're jealous! Your pet, on the other hand, may not be. While you may find it hard to be away from your animal for a while, your pets may be more stressed by coming along. Consider their health and emotional needs before deciding whether to take your pet with you or organising care for them back home.
It's tempting to want to bring your pet with you, but some animals aren't suited for travel due to temperament, illness or physical impairment.
Think about where your pet would be happiest. You may think that your dog will miss you too much, but if you are holidaying, will you have to leave him in a motel room, a tent, bach or strange kennel? That will make him more anxious than ever. Finding a reliable family member, friend or pet-sitter and leaving him in his own home would probably be a better choice.
Cats do not enjoy change and taking them on trips is usually not a good idea. Unless you are moving or going away for a long time, get a reliable family member, friend or pet-sitter so that your cat will not have to experience the stress of riding in a travel cage. It will be hard for your cat to adjust to a whole new, living arrangement and then moving all the way home again. Change can cause cats’ major stress, which can lead to health and behaviour problems.
If your family have any doubts about whether it’s the right idea for your pet to travel, have them talk to your veterinarian and make sure your animal is up to date on all vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and in good health before you leave.
If your family decides it's best for your pet to come along, make sure you've got the supplies to keep your pet comfortable.
Cats should be safely secured in a spacious, comfortable travel cage.
Dogs should be safely secured with a dog seatbelt, in a secured carrier or behind a dog guard. You never know what your dog may see or hear while you are travelling, so it’s important they are safely secured in the car, so they can’t injure themselves or you, if they get a fright and scared or they see something that gets them super excited and they start jumping around! If an accident happened, the dog could be fatally injured and the force of the dog being thrown forward could seriously injure the driver or any passengers in the car.
If you are travelling by air, make sure your family have checked out any pet-related rules set by the airline you are travelling with. This also includes restrictions for animals in different countries and restrictions related to the weather. Talk to your veterinarian for advice and help.
If your family decides your pet should not travel, you can arrange for a responsible friend or relative to look after your pet, board your pet at a recommended kennel or cattery or hire a pet sitter.
If your family has decided to board your pet, get references and ask your parents to visit the boarding kennels or cattery first. Your veterinarian can help you find a good boarding kennel or cattery that is best suited to the needs of your pet.
A pet sitter may be preferable if your pet is timid, elderly, and afraid of strangers or needs the comfort of familiar surroundings while you're gone.
If your family is hiring a pet sitter, encourage them to interview them and check their references.
Be sure your pet is microchipped before you leave your dog or cat anywhere unfamiliar to the animal.
If your family arranges for someone to care for your pet while you're away, give the pet sitter:
You should also make sure that your pet's comfortable with the person you've chosen by having him or her come to your home to visit before you leave.
Don’t forget to let your veterinarian know if you are going away and who is going to look after your pet while you are on holiday.
REMEMBER TO NEVER, EVER LEAVE YOUR ANIMAL HOME ALONE WHEN YOU GO AWAY ON HOLIDAY.