As summer approaches with thoughts of vacation, it’s time to consider where your cat or dog will be staying home during this time. If you prefer to take your furry friend on your trip, you will need to find pet-friendly lodgings. Start by researching pet-specific sites such as petfriendlytravel.com or petswelcome.com, but even mainstream travel sites such as Expedia have search filters for pets. Be very specific about pet species, numbers, and size.
Many large vacation destinations such as Disney offer boarding facilities where you can lodge your pet, but you are personally responsible for walking and feeding them.
If traveling with your pet is not an option, you will need to consider local boarding facilities or an at-home pet sitter. Someone you trust to stay at your home such as a friend or relative can be an ideal caretaker. However, an experienced and trustworthy pet sitter that becomes acquainted with your pet before your departure is the next best thing. Sites such as TrustedHousesitters.com connected pet parents with pet sitters, or ask friends and your veterinarian if they know of anyone. Be sure to interview them well in advance and ask for proof of bonding and credentials.
If boarding your pet, make sure you have inspected the facilities and your pet feels comfortable with the caretakers. For elderly pets, or those with special health concerns, the best option may be at a veterinary facility. Be sure to bring any favorite toys, treats, and food. A quick diet change will frequently result in diarrhea. A T-shirt with your scented will make them feel more comfortable too.
Whether boarding or at home, make sure the caretakers know your pet’s preference for feeding times and volume, play periods, and grooming requirements.
Last, leave a copy of your travel schedules and list of phone numbers where you or someone you trust can be reached. And always leave your veterinarian’s phone number in case of an emergency.
After all these careful preparations, go have a guilt-free vacation knowing your loved one is in good hands.
This copyrighted article first appeared in the Residences section of The Palm Beach Post. It may have been updated since its original publication.