Many pet owners will be going over the river and through the woods this holiday season.  Whether it’s to grandmother’s house you go or everyone is headed to your house, your pets have particular requirements you’ll want to keep in mind.

If you are not taking your pet with you, most likely you will need to board your pet at a reputable kennel.  Here are some important tips.

Boarding your pet:

  • Make reservations well in advance.  Boarding kennels fill up quickly during the holidays.
  • Be sure to check with us about vaccination requirements when making your boarding reservations. Most vaccines such as the one for Infectious Tracheobronchitis (also known as kennel cough) need to be given several weeks in advance of boarding for the best protection of your pet if they have not had the vaccine before.
  • Provide enough of your pet’s food and medications to last through its stay and alert the kennel staff to any special needs that it may have.

Sometimes it’s more fun to bring your pet with you. If your pet is travelling, you’ll want to be careful to prepare for the journey.

Travelling by car:

  • Be sure to put together a travel bag for your pet.  Include food, water, bowls, and any medications your pet needs.  A small first aid kit may also be helpful.
  • Proof of vaccination and pertinent medical records are helpful in case you have any troubles during your trip.  Find a few veterinarians in the area of your final destination and carry their phone number in case of emergency.
  • If your pet has a habit of becoming carsick or nervous during travel, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medications that can help.
  • Check out or to find a pet-friendly hotel if needed.

Travelling by plane:

  • Check with your airline and destination well ahead of time for requirements.  Many airlines and states require that your pet be examined by a USDA certified veterinarian and issued a health certificate prior to travelling.
  • Each airline differs as to which animals may be carried on board with you and which must be checked into cargo.  Discuss with your veterinarian what concerns may be for your individual pet.
  • Be sure your pet is used to its carrier beforehand in order to minimize stress.

Staying home:

  • If your home is everyone’s destination this holiday season, make sure that your pet has a quiet, private place to retreat away from all the commotion.
  • Be sure that it is wearing a collar with tags and that its microchip information is current in case a door is left open in the midst of all the chaos.

No matter what your plans are, we hope that you and your pet have a safe and wonderful holiday season!