Many pet owners travel for various reasons: the joy of getting away, weddings, birthdays, graduations, family need, etc...and you need to know how to best care for your pet while away. Here are some suggestions from the Southgate staff:
No matter which of the following options you choose we recommend that you make sure you have applied flea control within a week of leaving and that your pet(s) are microchipped. If your pet(s) are already microchipped give the company and your vet a quick call to make sure all your contact information is up-to-date.
1) Boarding your pet with a professional is always an option. If you decide to go this route then be sure to call the facility a month in advance to check any requirements. This is a good idea even if you have used the location before as things can change. Once you have a list of requirements, give your vet a call and get a copy of your Canine Health Certificate. This will have shot dates and basic information about your pet. If the facility is new to you, ask if you can take a tour. This gives you a good idea of what your pet's experience will be.
2) Some people prefer to get a housesitter. This is a great option as it allows you pet to stay in their environment and keep your house looked after at the same time - what we call a win/win. If you plan on choosing this option, have the person that will be watching your pet come over during a feeding time to watch your pets in action and get a feel for the household. This is a good time to go over other expectations, medication needs, and pet habits. Next, it is time to get in touch with your list-making side. You can not leave too much information: emergency phone numbers, pet habits, where extra food or cleaning supplies are, etc...The more information you give your housesitter, the better able they are to take care of your animals.
3) Some people decide to take their pets with them. This can be a fun and rewarding option for pet and owner. Just a few things to prep pre-travel: Make sure that all shots are current and that you have an updated Canine Health Certificate to take with you. It is good to have this on hand in case of any unforeseen boarding or doggie daycare needs. Be sure to take your vet's phone number and all necessary medication. Your pet should have their own travel kit with food, water bowl, medications, extra leash, toys, comfort item, and crate (if possible). If you plan on staying in hotels, call ahead and verify pet policies.
4) Airplanes are a trickier matter altogether. If you plan on traveling within the continental United States you need to check with the airline you are traveling with. Most want a Canine Health Certificate and proof of rabies vaccination within a certain time-frame of flying, but, as it varies, ALWAYS call first. If you plan on traveling to Hawaii, contact the Hawaiian animal services for the most recent reqirements. The requirements have changed many times over the last few years so it is a good idea to contact them directly. If traveling internationally, you need to contact the United States Department of Agriculture. We have included a link to their website here: USDA Pet Travel.
We are more than happy to help in any way we can. Please call us as soon as you begin your travel plans so we can set up any necessary appointments.