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Family Holiday With Fido

Can we have your attention, please, all dogs that know when Master and family are preparing to leave for a vacation? Raise a paw if you want to go with them! 

Who’s a good doggie? It’s unanimous! Planning a vacation is exciting for many reasons and one of them is to have the chance to unwind and spend more time with those you love, including your furry friend. 

Are you thinking of bringing your dog on holidays to run with you and include in your outings? Before you do, it takes careful planning for your pet’s comfort and safety. 

And if you think that you can discreetly pack the minivan without Fifi knowing something is up, forget about it…they know.

A few weeks ago Vancouver-based veterinarian Dr. Katherine Kramer offered her expertise in this space about running in hot temperatures with your dog. 

This week she shares some valuable information on taking your pet with you on vacation.

Here is our Q&A:

Q: What do we need to know before taking our pet with us on vacation?

A: It makes sense to have your pet with you on vacation since they are part of the family. However, taking your furry family member along takes planning and answering several questions:

– How well does your pet travel and adapt to new surroundings? Some pets are anxious in the car and get quite car sick.

– Is your pet well enough to travel? Older pets with arthritis or other diseases may be too painful to endure a long car ride or flight.

– How will you spend your vacation? If you are planning activities that your pet can’t be a part of then it may be best to not take your pet. 

Many pets can become anxious if left (alone) in an unfamiliar setting.

– Are there pet-friendly accommodations?

– Are there nearby veterinary hospitals in case of emergency?

– Will my pet need additional vaccines, flea/tick/heartworm/intestinal parasite protection? The risk of disease and parasites varies from region to region.

 Q: When should you not take your pet on vacation?

A: It depends on how well your pet travels and what activities you are planning for your vacation.

Q: What are the benefits and responsibilities?

A: The benefits are having your entire family with you on vacation and not having to worry about or miss your pet while you are gone.

The responsibilities are:

– Make sure your pet has identification, with id tags on the collar and microchip information up to date in case they get lost along the way.

– Understand requirements for travel if you are crossing an international border or flying.

– Speak with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is current on the necessary vaccinations and protected against parasites.

– If you are taking an extended road trip, make sure you know where the pet friendly hotels are along the way.

– If driving, make sure your pet has a comfortable kennel and that you stop frequently for bio breaks.

– Know where the local veterinary emergency room is, just in case.

– Make sure you have packed for your pet as well. It is wise to not only pack their food but bottled water and their favourite bed and toy.

 Q:  What are some good places to take your pet with you?

A: A trip to the cottage or beach wouldn’t be complete without a dog. I’ve had many friends who travel with their cats. Many of my patients spend the winter in the US or Europe.

 Q:  Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: Taking your pet along on vacation can be fun and rewarding but it does take planning and common sense. 

Thanks to Christine for the weekly Fitness Friday Features and be sure to follow her on Twitter or Youtube.

Enjoy your weekend and Stay Safe!!!