There are an estimated 1.4 million U.S. newlyweds who travel each year for their honeymoon. There are so many things they have to consider and prepare for before they can leave. They must figure out what to pack, get passports ready, and book reservations. For those who have pets, one of the biggest concerns is what to do with their pet while they’re away. Here are tips on how to prepare for vacation while leaving your pet at home.
Look Into Boarding Options
Pet boarding helps your pet receive care and attention while you’re away on vacation. Your pet will be kept in a kennel for security and protection and given the opportunity to socialize with other animals. These pet boarding facilities have strict schedules for feeding and exercise to help minimize stress. The staff will diligently monitor your pet for any potential issues. If they notice any problems, they will have a veterinarian examine your pet and provide any necessary treatment.
Kennels may not be ideal for anxious pets. There’s a risk that your pet may get into fights with the other animals and get injured. When making plans on how to prepare for vacation, it’s a good idea to visit a few boarding kennels to see how they operate. Look for kennels that are clean and quiet to help minimize anxiety and stress while you’re away. Be sure to ask about their policies for vaccinations and medical emergencies.
When choosing a kennel, there are other things you want to consider. Make sure the kennel’s inspection certificate is up to date. It’s not mandatory for kennels to have certificates, but the ones who do help assure you that your dog will receive the best care possible. The kennel should have an indoor and outdoor area with plenty of room for your pet to run and play. Ask how many pets they expect to be boarding while you’re on vacation. If you have a dog with nervous or anxious tendencies, you may want to consider boarding when there are few animals around.
Create a Packing List
There are so many things to think about when working on how to prepare for vacation while leaving your pet behind. If you’re planning to board your pet in a kennel, it’s helpful to create a packing list so you don’t forget anything. Things you’ll want to pack include emergency contact numbers, food and water bowls, leash, toys, a comfy bed, poop bags, and treats. It’s also a good idea to include a record of your pet’s vaccinations, grooming supplies, and medications with instructions.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Another thing you will want to do when it comes to how to prepare for vacation is to talk with your veterinarian. Let them know about your plans to go on vacation. Ask them for recommendations for the best options on how to prepare for vacation while leaving them behind. Make sure to leave your credit card information in case any incidents occur. You may also want to check that your pet’s ID tags are current. These ID tags can be equipped with QR chips to help track them in the event they get loose and help keep them from being picked up by animal control.
If your pet has serious medical issues, it may be possible to board your pet with your veterinarian while you’re away. Many veterinary services offer boarding services for cats and dogs. This option should only be considered if your pet needs constant medical attention. If your pet is healthy, they shouldn’t be boarded with sick or injured animals. If your pet does have medical concerns but doesn’t need constant monitoring, consult with your veterinarian on the best possible options for your pet’s care while you’re away.
Check Your Pet’s Vaccinations
While visiting the veterinarian, it’s a good idea to check pet vaccinations and make sure they’re up-to-date. Many kennels require your pet to have current vaccinations for rabies, bordetella, influenza, and distemper. If your pet isn’t current on these vaccinations, they won’t allow your pet to be boarded. Schedule vaccines at least two to four weeks before your trip. You may also want to consider getting your pet microchipped so they can be identified if they get lost.
Trust Someone Well-Versed in Dog Care
If you don’t want to board your pet in a kennel, hiring a pet sitter well versed in dog care is an excellent alternative. Even cats can feel more comfortable having someone check in on them. There are a few things to know about how to prepare for vacation while using a pet sitter. You can opt to have the sitter stay all day in your home if your pet suffers from separation anxiety or check in periodically for feedings and walks. The amount of time you choose will depend on your budget.
Make sure your pet’s food and medications are fully stocked before you leave. Place a piece of worn clothing with your scent in your pet’s bed to help ease their anxiety while you’re away. Give the pet sitter the emergency contact information for you and your pet’s veterinarian in case something happens. Consider buying your pet a new toy to keep boredom at bay and prevent them from getting into trouble.
Invite the pet sitter to meet your pet before you go on vacation. This gives your pet the opportunity to get to know the sitter in a safe environment. This can help you determine if the sitter is the right fit and give you peace of mind while you’re on vacation. Before you leave, give the sitter detailed instructions on feedings, medications, bathroom habits, and any specific routines or commands they should know. You may want to consider purchasing a pet camera to keep an eye on things while on vacation.
Have Your Carpets Cleaned
When considering how to prepare for vacation, you may want to add carpet cleaning to your list. If you’re planning to have your pet stay at a kennel, it’s a good time to get your carpets smelling fresh. You may want to consider having a friend or family member wait at your home for the cleaners to arrive while you’re gone. This can make your home more pleasant to return to after being away.
If you can’t afford to have your carpets professionally cleaned, there are things you can do to restore your carpet before you go on coaction. Vacuum your carpets thoroughly and treat any noticeable stains. You can also rent a steam cleaner to remove dirt and grime. Having clean carpets will add to your post-vacation bliss.
Invest in Pest Control
If you’re planning to board your pet, it’s a good idea to invest in residential pest control shortly after dropping your pet off at the kennel before you go on vacation. These treatments can be toxic for pets. It will give your home the opportunity to air out while you and your pet are away. Spraying the outside of your home can help with wildlife control so pests don’t get into your garbage.
To keep pests from invading your home while on vacation, thoroughly clean your home and take out the trash before you leave. If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, make sure to remove all the perishable food from your refrigerator. Repair any leaks and have any cracks or openings around your home sealed.
Keep Your AC On
If you’re planning to go on vacation during the summer months, you may want to consider keeping your air conditioning on. It can get incredibly hot for your pet with the windows and doors closed. Pets cool themselves off naturally by panting. However, it’s difficult for them to cool off when it’s hot and humid. Turn fans on to keep the air circulating.
It can get expensive to leave the air conditioning on consistently. If you have central air, keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees, which is comfortable for most pets. You may want to consider having a pet sitter check on your pet during the hottest part of the day and run the air conditioner during this time. Cats can be more heat tolerant than dogs, but any animal with a short muzzle should be kept in an air conditioned room.
Schedule an appointment with air conditioning services in your local area to make sure your unit is operating smoothly and efficiently. A technician can examine your equipment and give it a thorough cleaning for optimal performance. Consider installing a smart thermostat that you can control remotely. If you have a pet camera installed, you can adjust the thermostat remotely at the first signs of heat exhaustion.
Make Sure Your Home is Secure
When thinking about how to prepare for vacation while leaving your pet behind, it’s a good idea to make sure your home is secure. Close all your doors and windows before you leave. You may want to consider hiring door screen repair services to fix any holes or gaps that your pet could potentially escape through. Move any breakable items to a secure location. Lock any rooms you don’t want your pet to have access to.
You may also want to consider investing in a residential security system to protect your home from thieves while you’re away. There are many different options available for you to choose from. Many residential monitoring services give you the ability to check in on your home from a remote location using your cell phone. Make sure to give the sitter the security codes before you leave.
Give Your Pet Extra Attention
As soon as you make plans on how to prepare for vacation, your pet will instinctively know something is up. Spending some extra time together for a few days before you’re scheduled to leave. When it’s time to go, remain calm, keep your goodbyes short, and walk out the door confidently as if nothing is wrong. This can help your pet feel more secure and reduce symptoms of separation anxiety. You can also train your pet to get used to you being gone by spending longer periods of time away from your home in the weeks leading up to your vacation.
How to Prepare for Vacation Separation
It’s a good idea to prepare your pet for periods of separation at an early age. Socializing your dog to be around different people, smells, and environments will help your pet be more comfortable with entering new situations. Making sure your pet gets plenty of exercise will help prevent anxiety from being tired out. You can purchase CBD treats to help them remain calm. If you’re using a sitter, ask them to turn on the radio or TV when no one is around. The noise can help them not to feel alone and be able to rest and relax.
You may also want to prepare yourself for vacation separation, especially if this is the first time you’re leaving your pet home alone for an extended period of time. It can be easy to feel guilty having fun while your pet is by themselves. If you’re feeling anxiety while on vacation, you can call the sitter and get updates but resist the urge to constantly check in. Dogs and cats are capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, so realize they will be okay. If anything does go wrong, you’ll know because you gave the sitter clear instructions on what to do in case of an emergency.
How to prepare for vacation while leaving your pet behind can be a challenge. By following these tips, you can help your pet feel more comfortable and have peace of mind knowing they’re in good hands. When you come back home, your pet will be excited and waiting for you to arrive. That’s something you can both look forward to and still enjoy your time away from each other.