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  • Writer's pictureFour Paws One Heart Inc.

Sweet Summertime: Planning for Vacation with Pets

School's out for summer and it's time for some much needed time away with your favorite people! Read our tips for planning the purrrrfect vacation. Spoiler alert: We're focusing on the prep you need to do for your family pets!

Do Your Vacation Plans Include Plans For Your Pet?

As families gear up for family vacations this summer, there’s a lot of prep that goes into the planning, flights, hotel, tours, etc., but did you include a plan for your four-foot family members? If you don't have a plan in place yet, you need to get to work – pronto!

First, I ask that one of your considerations NOT be surrendering your animal to a shelter because boarding or in-home care is too expensive. Do people do that you ask? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is YES. May and June are called the “summer dumps” in the shelter community. Christmas pets who have now gotten bigger and require care while you are gone or older pets – it runs the gamut. Shelters are over-crowded; and this year seems to be worse than any other I’ve been a part of so please, let this option not be one of your considerations.

So how should you prepare?

Find a good pet sitter or boarding facility. It’s a good idea to take recommendations from friends and others, but you also need to do your own homework. You need to feel 100% confident in the facility or person with whom you leave your fur family members. Do they have cameras where you can see your pets, how do they post updates in case someone isn’t feeling well, what are their qualifications, and how long have they been in business. Yes, there are apps, but this jury (me) is not yet convinced enough vetting is done for people who sign up through those apps.

Boarding facilities should have detailed forms to obtain information about your pet, your contact information and other emergency contacts. If they don’t? Red flag! If you choose in-home care, see the list below for some things you can do to assist your caregiver.

Top Five Tips for Planning In-Home Pet Care

  1. Provide a detailed list of food, medications, do’s and don’ts, and likes and dislikes for each pet. Are they good on a leash? Not good with other dogs approaching when leashed? No detail is too small.

  2. Create a list with a photo of your pet and the associated needs next to each one.

  3. Microchips! If your pets do not have a microchip, get them chipped! Need a recommendation on where to get your pet chipped? Contact me. If your pets are chipped, make sure the information is up to date. If I had a nickel for every time I called to get information on a found pet and the microchip details were outdated, I would be a rich woman!

  4. TAGS! Make sure your dogs or cats tags are up to date as well. The tag should include a contact name, address and phone number.

  5. Leave your pet sitter a list of phone numbers. This list should include your vet, a 24-hour care facility near you, a trusted neighbor, local Animal Control, and if you live in Trophy Club, my contact!

By the time this article hits the streets, I will have at least 10 kittens available for adoption! With the mild winter we had, kitten season has been BIG this year. Watch my page for adorable adoptable kittens or visit a local shelter.

Paws up!


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