Take your dog or cat on vacation or leave it at home? When the holidays approach, the question arises. Are so many pet owners who find themselves experiencing a real dilemma. On the one hand they want their beloved four-legged friend to leave with them, on the other they wonder if it is better to spare them a trip, which perhaps could be very stressful.
Dog and cat: better to take them on vacation or leave them at home?
The answer to this question is not unique. This is due to the fact that everything depends on the character of the animal and individual situations. The very first thing to do therefore is to ask yourself: how is my cat or how is my dog?
Obviously, for an animal, the place where he feels most at ease is the usual territory. That is, that place where he has everything he needs to be happy: familiar smells, habits and certainties, food and what he knows best. Changing habits therefore always represents a reason for stressbecause it affects the natural survival instinct of the animal.
That said, there are other factors to consider. For example, consider whether your four-legged friend has a good level of socialization, he is used to traveling and in the place where you go he will have all the comforts he needs. Also take into consideration the duration of the trip, its stress level and the ability to cope with changes. If the necessary requirements to guarantee the well-being of the pet are not guaranteed, therefore, it would be better to choose to leave it at home, focusing on a pension or on the help of someone who can take care of it.
“It is not possible to advise in advance whether to leave the dog or cat at home or take it on vacation – confirms Silvia Delfini, veterinarian for dogs and cats -. It depends a lot on the character of the animal, the state of health and habits. Each case is unique “.
Leave your dog or cat alone in the house
If you choose to leave your dog or cat at home during your vacation, be sure to plan everything well before you leave. Finding someone who can look after your pet in the best way will make you face your holidays with serenity and will give you the certainty that all the pet’s needs are met even if you are far away. The options in this case are varied.
For example, you could ask for help from someone you know who can take care of the dog or cat in your absence. The chosen person must be flexible, animal lover and ready to follow the rhythms of the pet. For example, you could talk to a friend, a relative you trust, a neighbor or a an experienced dog / cat sitter.
For both a person you know and a professional, make sure your dog or cat is familiar with the person who will replace you before you leave. The advice is to organize several meetings to allow the animal to gain confidence and create a bond of trust. The tasks and duties, of course, will vary based on whether your pet is a cat or a dog.
Cats, for example, are very attached to the environment in which they live and, if they are comfortable, they can be alone. The pet sitter should therefore come to your home every day to feed the cat, change the water in the bowl, clean the litter box and cuddle him.
Dogs, on the other hand, cannot be alone for very long periods and need to take long walks every day. In these cases, therefore, it would be better for the pet sitter to move to his home, in order to provide him not only with constant company, but also all the care he needs.
Tips for leaving your dog or cat at home
Once you have chosen the person who will take care of your pet and have introduced them to the dog or cat, be sure to plan everything that will happen in your absence. Clarify the pet sitter’s duties and provide the most important information in writing, in this way you will not be able to miss anything and will have the possibility to reread the instructions if necessary. On a piece of paper, therefore, write down:
• information about nutrition (times, quantities or special needs)
• safety rules (windows, garden, balcony or doors)
• emergency contacts (the number of the veterinarian, yours and that of the place where you will be staying)
• particular information (diseases, fears or particular ailments)
A few days before departure, take the dog or cat to the vet to assess their health, make sure they are well and that all vaccines are in order.
Leave dog or cat in pet retirement
Alternatively, you could choose to rely on a boarding house for animals. It is a place where the pet will be cared for by professionals and can socialize with other pets. Before making a choice evaluates various structures, visit them calmly and talk to the staff. Check that the pension you choose fully meets the needs of your four-legged friend.
The basic requirements they are cleanliness and hygiene, but also spacious boxes where the pet can move easily and freely. Cats, in particular, need nooks and crannies where they can retreat and feel safe, while dogs need to be able to take regular walks. Sufficient water and food are elements that cannot be ignored, as is the happiness and care of the host animals.
There are also other key elements to consider when making a choice. The best boarding houses for animals, for example, tend to keep guests in small groups, to avoid having gods possible quarrels. Not only that: if the structure is reliable it will make sure that all the pets hosted are healthy, for this reason they always require a copy of the health booklet that is issued by the veterinarian and information about possible diseases or therapies to follow.
On holiday with dog and cat: what to do
A holiday with your dog or cat can be an exhilarating and wonderful experience to be fully enjoyed. If you have chosen to leave with your pet, however, make sure you organize a four-legged trip that is perfect and well planned.
The first thing to do is to contact your veterinarian. He will carry out a check up of the animal, excluding pathologies and making sure that it is in good condition face the holiday. Not only that, if trust or meow is anxious you can agree on a therapy in order to relieve the symptoms of a potential malaise.
Be careful when packing your pet’s suitcase. Remember to bring your updated health card and passport with you if you need to reach a destination that is outside the Italian territory. Do not forget food, bowls, leash and muzzle (for the dog), toilet bags and litter box (for the cat), favorite toys and usual medications.
During the trip put in place precautions and precautions that will make the movement comfortable for the pet. Bring a blanket or a toy that the animal usually uses to make the environment familiar. Avoid air conditioning, excessive heat or sudden changes in temperature that could be dangerous. Departures during the hottest hours of the day should also be avoided to avoid heat exhaustion. Wet wipes and bowls of fresh water should never be missing.