Whether taking or leaving, put pets in vacation plans

QUICKREAD

PETS



It is summertime, a perfectly wonderful time of year. Something about summer just seems to motivate people to get out and do things.

For many families, summer is synonymous with vacation. Vacation plans typically include travel options, accommodations and activities, but if you have pets in your household, you definitely want to include care for them as you determine your itinerary.

There are several options to consider. There are times when you choose not to take your pets with you, either for your benefit or theirs, and you will need to determine who will care for the hairy creatures.

Friends, family or neighbors are always a good options, especially if the relationship is reciprocal and you care for their pets when they travel. Boarding kennels and pet-sitters are another options, but you need to query them on availably well in advance as they book up fast during this time of year.

Another option is to take your pet with you. This presents a list of necessary supplies relevant to their needs, but in many cases, it is simply preparing for another member of the family, albeit one that barks, pants, hisses or yowls. But a well-planned trip can be a perfectly enjoyable time for the whole family.

Air and train travel can be a harried experience for both you and your pet; however, many animals are quite comfortable in their crates. There are particular guidelines you must follow when traveling by one of these means, so inquire in advance to allow time to prepare.

Veterinarian certified health certificates are typically a requirement. Additionally, for air travel specifically, there are time restrictions because of temperature extremes, and not all carriers provide animal transport.

Road trips are always an experience. They usually provide endless scenery and long hours in the automobile.

Traveling with your pet can sometimes break up the monotony of long drives as they often need a potty break every few hours. This is always a good time to explore points of interest and picturesque rest stops on your route. Please be considerate of others and keep your four-legged friend on a leash, and always clean up after them.

There are many pet friendly hotels around the country that exhibit an understanding of your unique traveling companion. Some require an additional deposit, but others simply expect you to be a responsible pet owner. Please do so for the benefit of everyone who enjoys traveling with an animal. Many of these hotels have a designated outdoor area for exercise and sniffing. Again, please be cognizant of others.

When traveling with your pet, consider the scenarios relevant to the care of your friend. It is summer. It is hot. You can’t just stop at a restaurant to eat and leave the animal in the car in 90-degree temperatures.

Also consider care for your pet if you plan activities that prohibit them from joining you. Pet daycare centers that offer short-term boarding might be an alternative to investigate when making your travel plans. Up-to-date vaccination records will almost certainly be required at any reputable boarding facility.

With a little planning and fortitude, traveling with your best friend can be an enjoyable experience.

When contemplating your options, perhaps ask yourself if both you and your pet are going to enjoy the vacation. For many pet owners, vacation would not be much fun without their special family member.

Happy summer!

If you are looking for a new feline friend, consider this option. I recently received an email from the Loma Cat House, which is seeking good homes for about 40 kittens and a number of adult cats that have been spayed, neutered and inoculated.

The Loma Cat House used to offer its cats at PetSmart, but the store longer allows it because of a corporate policy.

Go to cathousegj.org or call 245-0769 for information about adopting a cat or kitten.

Charlé Thibodeau has been passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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