In an ideal world, our beloved pets would be able to go everywhere we do, but because this is not the case, when a lot of people make holiday travel plans, their pets will not be able to go with them. It could be because their family member or loved one lives in another state or country and the pet doesn't travel well, they may be allergic to or not like pets or may have pets of their own that don't get along with others. Another reason could be that taking the kids and pets on a long car ride may be too much for the parents or the cost of travel for the pet may be extremely expensive
Luckily, there are many that provide a home away from home for pets. Some places are 24 hours, where staff is always present to care for them. Others have online pet cameras where you can log on and watch your four-legged baby. There are places that send you an email daily informing you how your pet is doing and all allow you to call and check on them whenever you like. There are also pet hotels where your pet can have his or her own suite with a TV where they can watch movies and some even have beds shaped like cartoon characters. In addition, many boarding facilities provide "playtime" where if your pet is sociable, they can have supervised play with the other boarders. Even if they don't get along with other pets, they can still have time to play alone with a staff member watching him or her the entire time.
For us pet lovers, leaving our fuzzy child can be difficult but I always feel better knowing that my dog is in a place where he is safe and he likes the staff and they adore him.
Before you decide on a facility, take a tour of it and ask the staff and veterinarian all the questions you can think of. You can even do a pre-trial prior to your trip by letting your pet board at the place of your choice for a few hours while you are at work so you can see how he or she acts when you pick them up and inquire about how they did while there.
For some pets, being away from home can be traumatic, so try to make their time away from home as familiar as possible. If you have more than one pet, ask if they can board together. Take their bed and toys or one of your t-shirts that smells like you so that they can feel like you're still around. Some places may not allow you to bring your pet's belongings because of the risk of them getting lost or soiled.
There are some pets that refuse to eat and others get diarrhea because of the stress of being away from their family. If you pick your pet up and find that he or she looks thinner or if they have diarrhea, please gently question the staff before making accusations because it may not be their fault.
Sometimes the food change can cause diarrhea so it is best to take your pet's food with him when boarding. I have heard clients say that their pet sleeps alot after they pick them up and this could be due to the fact that they were not able to get a good night's sleep because of all the barking, meowing and other noises the other boarders were making during their stay. Remember to take all medications that your pet is on when you drop them off so that they don't miss any doses.
If you feel that your pooch or kitty will be more comfortable at home, find a trustworthy petsitter who will either be able to stay with them at your house or come often to check on them and one who you know loves your pet like their own.
Whatever the reason that your holiday travel plans do not include your pet, be sure that that they are in good hands at a place that provides you with the most peace of mind and one where they are comfortable. This way, you will be able to enjoy your vacation without worrying too much about your precious ball of fur. Wherever your plans take you this christmas, I wish you safe travels and hope that you have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas everyone!