Holiday Travel

Christmas is approaching and humans and fur kids alike are getting prepared to celebrate the holidays. Christmas is the time for family gatherings, parties, celebrations and travel, but what do we do for our pets when we travel? Some fur kids are lucky enough to travel and go visiting with their owners and we have some tips for travelling with your pet, and also how to choose pet care when you can’t bring your furry best buddy with you.

Travelling with your pets by car can be stressful, so here are some tips to alleviate some of the stress by being prepared.

    1. If you are travelling a great distance by car, make sure that your pet has been on some longer car rides before attempting this. You can start by going for shorter drives and building up to a much longer drive if they are nervous, do not enjoy car rides, or have not travelled by care before. If your pet gets carsick, consult your Veterinarian for advice and/or a prescription to aid in relieving car sickness symptoms. There are some newer medications that are long lasting and alleviate the vomiting and nausea quite well. Ideally if giving medication, try a dose at home and have a shorter drive to see how your pet reacts to the medication and if it is effective in your pet. You can also speak to your Veterinarian about ways to reduce travel anxiety in your pet, making a safer, calmer ride for all.
    2. Make a checklist of things that you need to bring. Food and water, bowls, leashes, make sure your dog’s collar and ID tags are on, medications, blankets, poo bags, towels to clean dirty paws or wet fur and an idea of appropriate areas to stop with your pet.
    3. Although you may be able to drive for many hours, often your pet will need to stop more often to have a drink, stretch, expend some pent up energy and do their business. Although it may make the trip longer, you will have a happier furry companion on your trip.
    4. Ensure your pet is secure in the vehicle. Using pet barriers, clip in seatbelts, or pet carriers can keep everyone safer on a trip. If your pet is secure it is less likely that they can disturb the driver or be a driving distraction. In addition to this security, using these tools can also keep your pet safe in case of an accident, just like humans.
    5. Never, ever leave your pet in a car on a warm day if you are travelling with other humans and need a bathroom break, have them stay with your pet, or make sure you have something secure to tie your dog up safely outside of the building you need to go into. Leaving your pet in a car when it is bitterly cold is also dangerous, so plan ahead.
    6. Ensure that your pet is welcome at any hotel or accommodation you will be stopping or staying at. While there are many pet friendly hotels, not every facility is so welcoming. Also ensure that you have spoken to any hosts in detail prior to bringing your pet to their home.

If you cannot travel with your pet there are many options for pet care to suit your needs. Research what works best for you and the companies you are considering well in advance. Ideally booking your pet’s boarding months in advance is recommended as often times there are limited spaces, or limited time constraints to the business’ you consider. People will often book Christmas, summer and peak holiday time boarding up to 6 months in advance to ensure their pet can be accommodated with their preferred pet care choice.

What options are there for pet care? In most areas you can choose to have a pet sitter come in and out of your home for feedings, walks and medications. This is a good option for pets who are less active, prefer to stay home, small pets and cats. Added benefits of in home care can also include mail collection, plant watering and small other chores that need attending to while you are gone. There can be a premium for additional services so speak to your service provider in detail about your needs. Another option is having a pet sitter/house sitter stay in your home overnight while you are gone. This has additional benefits of having someone in your home for added security in the home, and for your pets. This option can be pricey, but is good for pets who require a lot of attention and affection, or pets with anxiety or medical issues. The final options are boarding your pets at a boarding facility, Veterinary Hospital or at a private home/pet sitter business. The greatest benefit of boarding your pets at a Veterinary Hospital is that there is medical staff on site if your pet has a medical issue come up while you are away. Most hospitals are staffed at a minimum of 12 hours a day, ensuring safe care and medical attention at your pet’s disposal, the downside is that often there is less activity for your dog socializing with other pets, having walks etc. Boarding kennels are another option, with options for extra “outs”, private doggie doors to a small area to go to the washroom, and added services such as extra cuddle time, exercise, playtime with other friendly animals, snacks, grooming etc. It should be noted however, that none of these options, other than having a pet sitter overnight in your home, usually have staff onsite overnight.

With all that being said, why is Country Tails a good option for your pet? Boarding here also includes full access to Doggie Daycare, alleviating boredom, and giving your pet plenty of exercise, love, socialization, snuggles and snack times. There is not an added charge for being in daycare, snacks, stuffed Kong’s, bedding, or loving human interaction all day long. Our professional staff is onsite from 6 am until 730 pm, ensuring your dog’s comfort and attending to your dog’s personal needs. Your dog also has access to Veterinary care 7 days a week, and 12 hours a day Monday through Friday. You can also have your pet groomed while here, or prior to going home which eliminates an extra trip out for you. If your dog or cat has special needs or requires medications, trained staff, Registered Veterinary Technicians and Veterinarians are here for them. Our staff is trained to recognize your pets needs and personalize your pets’ day with extra naps, extra outs, extra love and snuggles etc. We are here no matter what your pet needs and happy to give them everything they want.

Written by: Tara O’Grady