Dec 09 2015

Holiday tip blog #2: Traveling with or without your pet for the holidays

canine christmas

Here are some great tips to keep the holidays happy while your pet is traveling with you or staying behind while you travel. Some of them are for both!

Taking them with you?

  • Driving?
    • Make sure to keep supplies handy for over night stay, (including a disposable litter box with a baggie of litter for a cat), stops along the way for food, drink, walking.
    • Make frequent stops every 2-3 hours to let a dog stretch their legs and walk around a bit….. good for you too!
    • If your pet doesn’t travel well please ask for help! We have all kinds of options available.
  • Bring a copy of your vaccine records with you just in case you need them. If your pet had their yearly updates here you should have received a pet ID card that has the important information at your fingertips.
  • Staying with family/friends? Have a backup plan if your pet doesn’t fit in well with other pets or family mbers of either going to a pet friendly hotel or a boarding facility close by.
  • Combat stress! (See 3rd section as it goes for both staying and going with!)

Leaving them behind?

  • Hiring a petsitter?
    • Make sure it is someone you are comfortable with.
    • Are they staying with your pet or dropping by? How often?
    • Leave information with your sitter and your veterinarian in case there is an emergency with details instructions/wishes in case of something serious and you cannot be reached immediately.
  • Boarding pet?
    • Make sure vaccines are up to date at least 2 weeks prior. Vaccinating at the time of boarding at a major holiday may be convenient but the stress of environmental changes and delay in immune response can still leave a window of susceptibility.
    • BOOK EARLY!! Many facilities are completely full for the holidays so you want to make your reservations as soon as you know you can.
    • If allowed, take items from home to keep stress to a minimum.
    • Best to bring your pet’s own food to decrease chances of dietary indiscretion and diarrhea.
  • Combat stress! (See 3rd section as it goes for both staying and going with!)

It all just stresses me out!

  • There are a lot of things that can reduce stress over the holidays depending on the level of stress your pet experiences.
  • Pet prone to developing stress diarrhea? Start giving a probiotic at least 2-3 days prior to leaving and continue throughout to maximize GI health.
  • Take advantage of pheromone collars! These can give an overall feeling of calm for your pet. Applying them at least a couple days early will ensure they feel more peaceful.
  • A little more than average stress? We have supplements that can help such as Zylkene and Stress Away. These aids begun before travel happens can keep those anxieties at bay. Call us to see what is appropriate for your pet.
  • A particular part of the trip more stressful than the rest? Such as a car ride? We can dispense medication to make these times easier. (or even if the whole darn thing is just so terrifying)

Jenn | Hospital Blog

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