Preparing your pet for the holidays

When the year draws to a close, summer holidays are eagerly awaited by many of us. However, since there are so many things to finalise, we’d like to draw your attention to a few pet-related matters that are relevant at this time of the year.

Holiday Arrangements

If you’re going away on holiday, remember to make arrangements for your pets in advance. There are several options to consider, including kennels, house sitters and family members or friends who can care for your pets. Just be sure to introduce your pets to the person or people who will be looking after them beforehand. Once your pet carer has been arranged, it’s vital to inform them of any nutritional and medical needs your pets may have (including how medication should be administered). Finally, remember to stock up on pet food and medication before you leave to minimise stress for all parties involved.

Vaccinations

Pets’ vaccinations need to be up to date for kennels as well as local or international travel with their human families. In fact, dogs need an additional vaccination for kennel cough at least two weeks before they go to the kennels. Since veterinarians get quite busy this time of year, we recommend that you book an appointment to update your pet’s vaccinations as soon as possible. The kennel will not accept a vaccination done on the morning of admission!

Remember: Your pets’ tick and flea prevention treatment needs to be up to date as well.

Microchipping

Many pets go missing during the festive season leading to multiple broken hearts. A microchip helps veterinary practices and welfare organisations to identify pets so they can be reunited with their families. Microchipping is quick (takes less than a minute) and relatively painless, plus your pet will be registered on the database immediately. It’s the best gift you can give your pet!

Travelling With Your Pet

Accommodation: If you’re lucky enough to take your pets on holiday with you, make sure the accommodation you’ve selected is pet-friendly.

Travel Medication: Don’t forget that motion sickness and anxiety in pets is common. So, before you hit the road, book an appointment with your veterinarian to chat about your pet’s needs so they can dispense the correct medication for a less stressful trip. Be sure to ask for enough medication for the return journey!

Comfort: Take your pet’s bed with to help them feel secure and relaxed in their new environment. Also, don’t leave your holiday accommodation until you know they’re safe and can’t get out. It’s easy to get lost in an unfamiliar place.

Hydration: There should always be enough water for the journey. Stop every 1 to 2 hours to allow your pets to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. If your dog gets very excited in the car, it sometimes helps to stop about 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve started travelling to let them out for a sniff after which they often settle down quickly.

Crate/Carrier Training: This can significantly reduce travel stress. It can even help pets feel safe and secure. Tip: The stench of cat urine in your car will linger for years, so put the cat carrier in an empty litter box to catch any accidents.

Emergencies

Give the kennel or your pet sitter written and digital copies of emergency phone numbers and details of the practice they should take your pets to if they fall ill or get injured. If you’re travelling with your pet, research and document the details of veterinarians and animal clinics at your holiday destination and how to contact them. Make sure you pack your pets’ medical records and a list of medications to help the ‘holiday’ vet make the right decisions for your pet.

Enjoy the holiday season! We hope you and your pets get an opportunity to rest and spend valuable time together!

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