Having had a cat who always seemed to sense when I was about to go on a trip and who made a point of ignoring me for at least two days on my return, any tips to make pets more comfortable as we go off to enjoy a summer break are welcome.
I always took her to the same cattery where she was well looked after – I can still remember the cattery owner’s slightly bemused reaction when she asked where I was off to when leaving her there for the first time. I said ‘nowhere’. I wanted to make sure that Coco knew that when I left her for my actual break I would be coming back for her. I became one of her favourite clients and Coco one of her favourite ‘guests’.
But what do the ‘experts’ say? Vet-Medic explore the options for holiday care for pets.
With temperatures rising and the holiday season fast approaching, dog and cat owners to think about the effects this year’s summer getaway might have on their pets.
Whilst a summer holiday affords us humans rest and relaxation, our pets don’t always have the same enjoyable experience. The majority of UK pet owners holidaying abroad use boarding kennels to accommodate their pets, for many pets and owners this is a good solution, however for some animals it can potentially be a traumatic experience.
For older and more timid animals separation anxiety from owners and unfamiliar surroundings of boarding kennels can be very stressful.
John Rosie, Vet-Medic’s head vet is encouraging owners to consider all holiday pet care options such as leaving your animal in a home environment with friends, relatives or a pet sitter. For those who prefer to use a boarding kennel or cattery to care for their pet whilst going on holiday, John has suggested some simple stress-relieving tips;
Tips for making your pet’s trip to kennels less stressful:
“Don’t spend a long time saying goodbye as too much attention can be confusing for your pet when it is then suddenly withdrawn. Distraction is also a helpful way to alleviate stress caused by separation; leaving a toy or tasty treat will help divert their attention and providing a blanket or item of clothing with your scent will be most reassuring for your pet while you are away.”
“It is best to have a recommendation, and also a good idea to go and have a look around the kennels before booking your pet in to make sure they are clean and the animals look well cared for. Kennels should ask for a vaccination certificate, if not your dog or cat may be at risk of disease. There should be an up to date license from the local council, and owners should check there is adequate insurance in case your animal needs emergency veterinary treatment.”
Another effective way to help your pet cope with separation and new surroundings whether home or away, is the use of feline or canine pheromones such as Feliway and DAP which provide a calming effect.
These pheromones can be sprayed on bedding or blankets and in the case of DAP can even be worn as a collar. They help promote a smooth and rapid adaptation to a change in environment and can be given on a daily basis while on holiday. Combining these products with our simple stress-relieving tips will help ensure your pet’s holiday is as relaxing as possible.
Whatever your holiday plans this year, the team at leading UK online veterinary pharmacy Vet-Medic is on hand to provide expert medical advice on how best to help your pet cope with their holiday blues. For more information on how to deal with your pet’s separation anxiety while you are away, visit www.vet-medic.com