Source: WYZA

Are you going away this December holiday? You’ve planned your own holiday but what about your pets? Your four-legged friends also need to be taken into consideration. There are a few options to consider, including to get a pet sitter, taking your pet with on holiday or booking them into a pet hotel or a kennel.

  1. Hiring a pet sitter

Pet sitters have experience in taking care of pets and have a love for animals. They can either come to your house for a few hours a day or they can stay over.

  • This option allows your pets to stay in a known and safe environment.
  • The pet sitter can look after your pets as well as the house while you are away.

Visit thepetsitter.co.za for sitter options. Services include providing fresh water and food, playing with your pets, administering medication and a daily SMS update on your pet with photos.

When hiring a pet sitter, be sure to:

  • Introduce the pet sitter to your pets before the holiday period to ensure that your pets like the sitter. This is also a good time to show the sitter where the food is kept and what routine the pets follow.
  • Get good references for the pet sitter or go through a pet sitting company that vets their people.
  • Leave written detailed instructions with emergency contact numbers.
  1. Pet friendly holidays and accommodation

If you want to take your pet along this holiday, first find a pet-friendly holiday destination. The most stressful part of the trip will be transporting your pets, especially if you are driving a long distance. Consider these tips before travelling with your pet.

  • Exercise your dog before the trip to tire him out, this will make for a less excitable travel companion.
  • If your pet is prone to motion sickness, speak to your vet in advance about possible medication you can give them.
  • Feed the dog a few hours before the trip, this will help with car sickness.
  • Ensure that you have plenty of fresh water for the trip. Line the seat or boot with your dog’s blankets or his/her basket and favourite chew toys to provide a comfortable and familiar spot for him or her to sleep.
  • Never let your pet roam around the car unrestrained. Owners of nervous pet travellers sometimes opt for a secure crate to contain the pet on the trip.
  • Get seatbelts for your dogs
  • Take frequent breaks so that your pets can do their business, stretch their legs, drink water and eat.
  • Your pets should always be on a leash when outside of the car.
  • Never leave your pets in the car, not even for a few minutes.
  1. Tips for finding a reputable kennel

For most pet owners, kennels are a great way to ensure that your pets are cared for while away. However, if you are doing this for the first time or looking for a new kennel, be sure to keep the following in mind.

  • Start searching early. Catteries and kennels fill up very quickly. If you plan to go away in December, book at least 6 months before. Most pet owners take their pets to the same places every year, and often book for the next vacation when they fetch their pets.
  • Make no mistake, pet boarding is not cheap. When planning your holiday, make sure to budget for pet kennels. Some kennels have a minimum stay, so even if you’re going away for 5 days, you may have to pay for 7.
  • Check out the kennels BEFORE you plan on sending your pets there. While the brochure might look amazing, be sure to visit the kennels before you commit to anything. Check that there is enough space, clean water and that the animals are treated well.
  • Check pick up times. Some kennels may have certain operating hours. If arriving late at night, you may only be able to fetch your pet the following day. If this is the case, make special arrangements.
  • Bring your pet’s food, blankets and toys. Most kennels will provide food, but if your pet has special dietary requirements, ensure that you buy enough food for their entire stay. Leaving your pets with their basket, blanket or toys will help if they are prone to anxiety.

Source: Your Family