Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leaving your pets behind on your next trip? Make sure to follow these 5 tips!

Whether you are going on a quick weekend getaway or taking a few weeks off its important to make sure you have planned properly for any pets that are staying behind.

1) Veterinary Exam- When was the last time your pet was examined? If your pet is less than 5 years old they should have a yearly exam. Once they turn 6, an exam should occur every 6 months. Your veterinarian may catch changes you may not have noticed before they become an emergency. Call and schedule an exam 1 month before your trip so that if abnormalities are found you have time to deal with them. Also, any pets with chronic diseases (heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes etc) who are due for check-ups should be seen ASAP to make sure all is as stable as can be before you head out.

2) Pet sitter or boarding? Whether you decide to leave your pets at home or take them to a boarding facility make sure you book early. During busy holidays many places & sitters may be full. Also, make sure you get booster vaccines and copies of vaccine records early to make sure your pet is all set to board.

3) Medications- Leave detailed instructions for any medications. Having a spread sheet or log may help the pet sitter keep track of which medications to give, when to give them and how much to give. Make sure the medications will not run out while you are away; get them refilled before you head out.

4) Food- Make sure you have plenty of food, especially if your pet is on a special diet.

5) Emergency Plan- When my clients mention they are heading away I have them leave their contact information, hotel/family information, e-mail address, credit card authorization and names of authorized people in case an emergency occurs. Leave the pet sitter with the phone number and address of your regular veterinarian as well as the emergency facility.

By planning early you can leave for your trip with a little more peace of mind that your pets will be ok. Now you can truly relax and enjoy the vacation!