We can’t believe it’s already time to be thinking about Thanksgiving (not to mention Christmas!) – not only are there gifts, cards, and groceries to buy, but it’s time to be thinking about family trips and visits to maximize the season. Which always begs the question: to bring or not to bring the dog? Well, we can’t make that decision for you, but we have compiled a few safety tips for whatever you decide to do. If you decide to bring Fido along:
- Be prepared. Make sure you have everything they’ll need for a fun, comfortable stay. Food and water bowls, enough food for the trip (we recommend light weight and easy to carry Stewart Raw Naturals), any medications they may need, a few toys and treats, maybe their bed if they really love it.
- Be safe. We recommend a pet travel harness and safety restraint to keep your pet securely in the backseat where they belong. If they’re flying, make sure to provide plenty of water in their crate (either in a no-spill bowl or attachable water bottle.) You may also want to consider an anti-anxiety wrap.
- Be polite. Your pet’s manners matter, so it’s important to make sure they’re on their best behavior when staying at someone else’s house. If you’re worried about your pet ruining something, marking their territory, or having problems with other pets: it’s probably best they stay home.
For the pets staying at home:
- Trust is key. Having someone take care of your animal, whether it’s a friend, neighbor, or day care, is a big responsibility and, as your pet’s owner, it’s your job to leave them in good hands. If you get even one weird feeling about the person you’re putting in charge, we recommend looking elsewhere.
- Be thorough. Leave detailed instructions for whoever is watching your pet and make sure they have everything they could possibly need in a place they can easily find and access. And when we say leave detailed notes, we mean detailed: if your pet makes any weird noises or has any behavioral quirks write them down. It’s imperative that the person who’s caring for them knows whether something is normal or a cause for concern. You know your pet best, so anything you think their caretaker should know to make everyone more comfortable: write it down. (Don’t forget to leave some in-case-of-emergency contact numbers!)
- Leave them prepared. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of prepping for a family vacation and space your pet or pet sitter Make sure they have enough food to last the entire time you’re gone. Be sure to leave medicines, dosage instructions, and anything they may need to administer the meds. Check that products you access on a daily basis for your pet is fully stocked and left out for the caretaker in your absence. (Pro-tip: About a week or so before your vacation, start paying attention to what you pull out for your pet and leave it out so you can either re-fill it or remind yourself to leave it for the pet sitter.)