Basic Pet Care
Vacation Planning Tips for Pet Owners
By Jill Lopez, DVM
According to US Travel, US residents logged 1.7 billion leisure trips in 2015. Now, with the summer heating up, many of us are making plans for summer vacation travel. Some of us are heading to the beach, others to the mountains, and the more adventurous of us, to exotic shores.
We all know from our personal experiences that vacation planning can be demanding and time consuming. Of course you have to find the perfect location and then you have to organize your travel plans. One other big issue that many of us have is deciding how to keep our pets safe and happy during our vacation.
The following are tips to help make your vacation plans pet friendly.
- If you plan to vacation with your pet, make sure to confirm in advance that your stay includes pet friendly areas. Many hotel chains are now offering pet friendly rooms, but some will have additional charges or pet breed or weight restrictions. You can also visit http://www.bringfido.com/ to look for pet friendly accommodations and attractions.
- Pet sitters make it easy for you to leave your pets at home while you travel. Sitters are especially great for multiple cat households or if you have a nervous pet. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations.
Make sure to interview your potential pet sitter in advance and confirm references. Reputable pet sitters should be licensed and bonded. Your pet sitter should have your contact information while you are away and a also copy of your itinerary. You should also have details in writing of what to do in case of emergency and this information should be given to your veterinarian in advance.
Pet Sitters International maintains an online directory of pet sitters and the site also has a list of questions to ask a potential sitter.
- Boarding facilities are a good choice for pet owners with dogs-especially those with high energy levels that need more exercise. You can also check with your veterinarian or other pet owners for kennel recommendations. Online reviews may also be helpful in determining which place is best for your pet, but they shouldn't replace your veterinarian's advice.
Boarding facilities typically require that your pets have certain vaccinations in advance of boarding- some vaccines actually need to be given weeks in advance. While most kennels will require basic vaccinations, such as Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, and Rabies, they may also request vaccinations that prevent infectious respiratory diseases common to boarding facilities, such as bordetella, parainfluenza, adenovirus, and Canine Influenza.
Canine Influenza, also known as dog flu, is an important infectious respiratory disease for socially active dogs. The newest form of dog flu, H3N2, was first found in North America in March 2015. H3N2 is considered extremely contagious and has been detected in at least 30 US States. Since Canine Influenzas are relatively new viruses and virtually all dogs are susceptible to infection. While most dogs that develop CIV infection will have a mild illness, some dogs can become very sick and require treatment. Vaccinations for dog flu require an initial vaccination and a booster 2-4 weeks later and then continued as an annual vaccination.
PetMD offers a list of "must know's" before sending your pet to the boarding kennel.