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Will You Be Prepared?

The weather is slowly starting to warm up and soon the May 24th long weekend will be here which, as we all know, is the unofficial kick off to summer.

It may still seem far away, but it will be here before we know it and this is the time to start preparing. If you are planning on taking a summer vacation, you need to start planning well in advance, especially when you have a four legged furry friend, or more, that are part of your family.

If your family’s summer vacation includes travelling to far away destinations, you probably won’t be taking your pup with you. And, if this is the case, you need to get your dates finalized and start looking for a place to board your pup while you are away. You may think it’s a bit premature to book so far in advance, but boarding facilities, including private home care, tend to book up early, especially during the peak periods of July and August.

If you have not previously used a kennel or other boarding facility, or have friends or relatives willing to care for you pup, you need to start looking right away. Boarding kennels require all dogs to have the Bordetella or kennel cough shot so, if your dog hasn’t already had the shot, you will have to allow time to get it before you leave. It’s always wise for you to get recommendations from other pet owners and then make arrangements to go and see the places you are considering. You would also be prudent to have your pup go to the place you have selected for an afternoon or a full day visit to see how he does, and then to try an overnight stay. If your pup seems overly stressed or finds it hard to settle in, then you need to keep looking. Private home boarding is often a more ideal situation, especially for an older pup, or one with special needs and many of these places may already have multiple bookings.

If your travel and vacation plans include taking the family pets and you do not own your own cottage or other vacation getaway, you also need to do advance planning. If you are renting a cottage or trailer, be sure you check first that pets are permitted. This also includes camp grounds as certain areas do not allow any domestic animals on the grounds. If you are planning on doing a cross country road trip, you need to book hotel or motel reservations in advance, and again, making sure that they are pet friendly.

Whether you rent a cottage, trailer, or do overnight stays in motels or plan on camping, you should be sure that you have a secure crate for your pet to stay in when you leave your location to go shopping, sightseeing, swimming or out for a meal. Remember, if your pet is left in a strange place, he will be safer and feel more secure in his own crate and you will not have to worry about him destroying anything.

When travelling with your pet, be sure that he is fully vaccinated, is micro chipped, and has contact information securely attached to his collar. He should also be properly secured in your vehicle, either in a pet carrier or a proper pet seat belt. If your plans include any time in or near water, swimming or boating, you should invest in a properly fitted life jacket for your four legged friend. You should also have a first aid kit for your pet, ample food in an air tight and securely enclosed container, and plenty of fresh water.

And, we cannot say this often enough, please do not take your pet with you and leave him alone in a parked vehicle. Even if the windows are open, the interior of a car can heat up very quickly on a hot day and your pet can suffer heat stroke and could possibly die.

So be sure to plan well in advance of your summer vacation and stay safe and enjoy the lazy days of summer.


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