Monday, July 4, 2011

Should You Vacation with Your Pet?

With the big Fourth of July holiday at hand, vacationers are on the move and many are wondering and worrying about what to do with their pets.

There are many pet-friendly establishments on the Cape and numerous web sites encourage you to travel with your dog or cat by providing advice, travel products and destination info. But… Just after the movie Pet Detective came out, we read a newspaper article about a real world pet detective whose hobby is to help people recover their lost pets. This expert's advice about vacationing with your pet is absolutely clear: Don't! He reported that taking your pet out of its regular habitat is just asking for trouble. Pets can be disoriented and seek to find their way home. Your usual safeguards may not be in place (that hole in the fence you didn't notice or that door that doesn't close tightly). Pets are far more likely to get lost while on vacation, he says, and are harder to find in unfamiliar territory. Cats in particular have a hard time away from home.

Qualified pet sitters are available if you decide to leave Fido/Fifi at home, such as the good people at Red Rover.

If you decide to take the plunge, make sure you have an ID on your pet's collar that has your cell phone number on it or a local contact. Some pet friendly establishments offer temporary tags that identify your pet as an approved guest and also give local phone number. Microchipping is best but a temporary tag can be made in minutes for a few dollars at many large pet stores in and customized for your situation.

If your dog isn't crate trained, well before the vacation would be a good time to make his/her crate feel like a secure den. Many lodgings allow pets but some stipulate that the pet not be left alone in the room unless they're crated. A crate can also serve as an air-cooled alternative to being locked in the car or a hotel room if you can find a safe and reassuring place to set it up.

When you get back from your grand adventure, contact us for bath, haircut, aloe deep conditioning treatment, or flea and tick treatment as conditions dictate.

Have a great summer!

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