By Dr. Dan Meakin
The Holidays are upon us once again. If you’re able to take pets with you while you’re visiting friends and family, there are a few important tips to remember that will make your visit more enjoyable for you, your hosts and your pet!
Look over this checklist and give some thought to your holiday travel plans.
If you’re not able to take the animals along, there are some wonderful local boarding facilities that can accommodate your pet for a reasonable rate. Be sure to make your reservations in advance, as the holidays are the busiest time of the year for boarding facilities.
1. Leash your dog, to prevent injury, avoid loss, and as a consideration for other people.
2. Crate train your pet.
The crate actually becomes security to your pet. Keep the pet crated when the vehicle is moving for security and safety. The crate will help protect the pet in case of an accident.
3. Be sure the pet wears a collar, Rabies Tag, and ID Tag in case it should become lost.
4. Take the usual food.
Sudden diet changes are the most common causes of vomiting and diarrhea. Never assume you will be able to find special diets away from home – carry ample amounts.
Stick to a routine feeding schedule.
5. A supply of drinking water should also be considered to allow gradual change.
Simply take a gallon jug – add new water to the jug as the home water is used out of the container.
6. Don’t forget any prescribed medications required by your pet.
7. Take the pet’s vaccinations records and rabies certificate.
Many motels and campgrounds are now requiring proof of vaccinations.
8. When driving, stop every two hours to exercise the pet and give water.
9. Tranquilizers and car-sickness medications are available from out hospital.
Over-the-counter products will not work. They work best if given on an empty stomach.
Do not feed the pet for 4-6 hours prior to administering the medication. We usually recommend only feeding the pet once you reach each day’s destination each day for best effect.
10. Be responsible for your pet’s eliminations.
Take it to suitable places for urination. Carry a supply of plastic bags which can be placed on the hand-then turned inside out after the stool is grasped in your hand.
l l. Never leave your pet unattended in the car.
12. Consider the feelings of others before taking your pet to visit friends or relatives.
Be sure they have no allergy problems and really do not mind the pet accompanying you.
Otherwise, everyone will have a better time (including your pet) if the pet is left in the care of a proper boarding facility.
Dr. Dan Meakin is the owner of All Creatures Animal Hospital, 1894 Ohio Pike in Amelia. Call (513) 797-PETS.