Preparing Your Pets for Summer Vacation

The decision to bring your pet with you or leave your pet at home while you go away on vacation can be difficult to make. Vacationing with your pet can be fun but stressful, because pets need special accommodations at every step along the way. Leaving your pet behind can also be upsetting, because many pets don’t respond well to leaving their owners. Either way, your pet will need to be prepared. The following tips will help you get ready for a vacation with your pet.

Leaving Your Pet at Home

If you’re planning to leave your pet at home, the following tips will help:

  • Make care arrangements. Find a relative, friend or loved one who can watch your pet while you’re away. If you can’t make arrangements with someone you know, find a reputable sitter who has experience with pets of the same species.
  • Stock up on food and medicine. Avoid any situations wherein your pet’s sitter will need to buy supplies for your pet. Stock up on many days’ worth of medicine, food, snacks and treats for your pet.
  • Make a list of emergency numbers. Your pet’s sitter will need to know the numbers for animal poison control, your veterinarian, the nearest emergency animal clinic, your cell phone and the phone numbers of all hotels where you’ll be staying while you’re on vacation.
  • Have your pet meet the sitter in advance. If the sitter is a stranger, let your pet have some time to get to know the sitter before he or she becomes fully in charge of your pet. This way, your pet will feel less stress when you are gone.

Taking Your Pet With You

If you decide to take your pet with you, the following tips will help make your trip a little bit easier:

  • Learn the rules at your pet-friendly hotel. Pet-friendly hotels often have strict rules about where pets can be and when. Many hotels require pets to leave the room with their masters. If you stay in a hotel that enforces a rule like this, you’ll need to bring your pet with you to all meals and recreational activities. Make a list of pet-friendly restaurants and activities in the area around your hotel.
  • Bring your pet’s favorite foods with you. You may find it difficult to find your pet’s favorite food when you arrive at your destination. It’s better to bring the food with you, so you’ll have something on-hand that your pet will eat.
  • Bring your pet’s important information. Bring your pet’s vaccination information, veterinarian contact information, animal poison control’s number and a picture of your pet (in case he or she gets lost).
  • Avoid flying if at all possible. Flying can be risky for pets. If you can, drive to your destination in a car (with your pet safely inside a crate). If you must fly, bring your pet with you in the cabin (if your airline allows).

Sign Up with the National Animal Supplement Council

The National Animal Supplement Council is an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of pets. The NASC hopes to keep pets safe by promoting healthy supplements and good food choices. To find out more about joining our organization, check out our website.