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Holidays for Pets

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 12:37:48 PM EST by Cam Day

Holiday Care for Pets

Holidays are complicated when you have pets. What are you going to do with them? Do you take your pets with you or leave them behind?This car is packed for a good time

Preferably you won't do what some irresponsible holiday makers do. Those who lack commitment find a pet too much inconvenience and think nothing of  dumping their cat or dog before they go away.

Leaving your pets unattended at home is also not an option. Such lonely animals often escape when the boredom of solitude hits. These stray pets often suffer injuries from accidents and they can become lost. However, most people are very responsible and want to ensure their pets are safe while they are away.

What are the options for holiday care of pets?

Many folk couldn't bear to be without their pets when they go off for some rest and recreation. If you can take your pets with you then they will enjoy the change in routine as much as you.

Be careful if you are going camping and save embarrassment.  Many camping grounds are National Parks where pets are totally prohibited.

Look for a book produced by  Life - Be In It called Holidaying with your Dogs.  It lists a variety of camping grounds and accommodation alternatives which allow dogs. The book sells for about $16.00.

Boarding Your Pet

If you are intending to book your dog or cat into a boarding kennel, then ensure you do so months before. Many boarding kennels and catteries book out for the Christmas and Easter holidays months in advance. Other holiday periods are almost as bad.

I always advise pet owners to view their pet's potential accommodation to ensure the facilities are clean and well managed. Boarding kennel owners are usually happy with this but you may have to arrange the visit with them beforehand. In a boarding kennel, there are certain times of the day when the owners cannot allow visitors through due to the potential of noise from the dogs barking and the disturbance visitors may cause to other scheduled duties.

If a kennel owner flatly refuses, then I would go elsewhere.

Home Visit Services

Several organisations offer a home visit service for pets. With such services, the pets are left at home and the care-giver visits during the day to feed and exercise the pets. They will water your plants and also provide other services. For pets with the right temperament, this is a good alternative.

However, be aware that your pet will still be alone for most of the day and many pets will not tolerate this. If your pet is very attached to you it may be not be content if you are gone for a long period and another alternative may be better.

House Sitters

Many folk will have a house-sitter stay in their home when they are away. The pets often enjoy the new face and the small change in routine. Naturally, the house-sitter needs to have good credentials.

A Holiday With Relatives

Alternatively, having your pets cared for at the home of a friend or relative is a good idea. If this is your preference, check that the fences will prevent your pet escaping. Why not take your pet to visit this friend a few times before the holiday so it can acquaint itself with their house and garden?

Lastly, no matter the system of care you use when you are on holiday, be sure to fully identify your pet with tags or a microchip. Should your pet roam while you are away, identification will assist in its return to you otherwise, you may never see it again.

Holiday Health Care

Remember that your pet will need to have its vaccinations up to date before being admitted into the kennels. For your pet's protection, its vaccinations should be given at least 10 days before the date of boarding as the vaccines won t cause immunity immediately.

Have your dog vaccinated with the C5 vaccine as this covers your dog for both of the germs that can cause Canine Cough and those that cause Distemper, Parvovirus and Canine Hepatitis virus. Canine Cough is a contagious upper respiratory condition that can be a problem wherever dogs group together - especially in kennels.

For cats, the F3 vaccine is the minimum needed but you may also like to ask your vet about some of the new vaccines that are now available for diseases such feline leukaemia and feline AIDS.

This is also a good time to have your dog or cat wormed with an all-wormer tablet and to check that their heartworm preventative is up to date.

There are many alternatives for your dog's heartworm preventative, but my advice is to consider the Once-A-Year Heartworm Injection which you can have done at the same time that you have your pet's annual vaccinations.

Don't forget a bath or at least a good flea treatment is essential and if your pet is on medication of any sort, for example for arthritis or anxiety disorders, now is a good time to ensure you are well stocked with medication.

With a little forethought, you and your pets will have a happy holiday and you won't be dogged by the hassles that hound many others.

Back to Holiday Care Pet Pick

 

DrCam_Help_Button

Cat question solved!

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 1:13:39 PM EST by Cam Day

Q  Hello Dr Cam,

I haveFree to roam moved from a leafy large residence where my cat was able to spend her days investigating the creek that ran behind my house to a busy suburban residence that has a lot of foot and road traffic.

So now, she is really restricted to the areas that she can go to ‘investigate’. She has since become very ‘cuddly’ and will follow me around and talk to me continually while I am at home.

I try to play with her and provide her with toys around the house but she isn’t interested in the toys and as I work so much I don’t go and play with her outside during the week.

Can you suggest any solutions?

Kelly, NSW.


 

A  Hi Kelly,

With cats, it’s hard to compete with the wonders of the outside world.  Cats that are allowed to roam benefit from the broad tapestry of challenges life gives them – a rich lifestyle maybe - but usually very short and risk-laden.

Cats kept indoors are much safer and live longer and suffer less disease – but the downside if that is, yes, boredom can be a problem.

So, there's a sensible balance that's needed.

Indoors funThe answer is to give the cat the largest territory possible but the safest and the environmentally richest one you can manage.

Cagey Cats

There are various cat enclosure systems that will allow your cat outside access with safety.

Catmax and Cat Nip are two well-established brands but there are others.  Many cat owners will make their own by, for instance, enclosing a deck, veranda or pagoda.

If an enclosure is not possible then you need to work hard to provide a rich lifestyle for your cat where things change on a regular basis.

Feline Frolics

Playing with your cat is important when you are home and a bamboo garden stake with a bootlace attached makes a good ‘fly-fishing rod’  where you can flick the boot lace back and forth to stimulate your cat's predatory instincts.

When you are not at home, look at various ways in which you can provide change during a cat’s boring day.

Timer activated food bowls are readily available. Some cat owners use our DIY Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton Timer to deliver toys, food items and, yes, Kong toys, to their cats.

We often advise cat owners to use a process called Fan Fare Fun. Place a pedestal fan on a timer plug so it turns on and off during the day. Place the fan at table height and make it ‘blow’ interesting items such as ping pong balls and feathers off the table during your absence. Crazy!

The Phun of Pheromones

To make your cat more content in its new home, also consider the use of Feliway Pheromones

More information on boredom relief for cats can be found on this link

Thanks Kelly!


Cam

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