Christmas can be a stressful time for everyone and having to make arrangements for your pets if your going away. We can give you some tips and advice on how to make travelling with your pet at Christmas easier and what other options are available if you choose to leave your pet at home.
If you are visiting friends or family and staying for any length of time, its always wise to find out first whether your dog will be welcome. Ask if there will be any other dogs or cats there and also whether there will be any small children. Only take your dog if you know you can keep them safe in someone else’s house.
Fit a dog guard or use a harness: Regardless of the length of your journey, your dog will need to be restrained so you can keep your eyes on the road. If you have a hatchback car, fit a dog guard. You can buy and fit them from most car or pets shops. Alternatively you can have your dog on a seat as long as they have a seat belt/harness. This is the law – dogs that are loose in the car can distract the driver and cause serious accidents. You can pick up a seat belt adaptor from any of our four surgeries.
Cats in baskets: Cats are not the best travellers and the best journeys for cats are short ones. If travelling with your cat, make sure they have a secure basket/carrier. You can spray their carriers with a feliway spray which is a calming pheromone and you can put a favourite blanket in the carrier.
Medication: If your dog or cat is a particularly anxious traveller, you may be tempted to give them something to calm them down. There are many different types of calming medications please speak to any of our four surgeries today for more advice.
Options available if you can’t take your pet with you
Although it is lovely for us to have our pets with us at Christmas, it’s sometimes just not practical. In this case you do need to consider what arrangements you are going to make.
Kennels: Many kennels get very booked up in the holiday season, and some actually close over the festive period. Make sure you know their bank holiday opening times. Some kennels specialise in rabbits and guinea pigs, so make sure you don’t forget your small furries.
Neighbours: Leaving your pets to be looked after by a neighbour is a great option. Cats much prefer to be looked after in their own environment. Make sure your cat either has access to your home via a cat flap, or an alternative secure dry place such as a garage or utility room. You can buy a timed feeder so you can set it at the time of their routine meal times.
Pet Sitters: You could always opt for a pet sitter to come and live in your house whilst you are away. This gives you the added bonus of not leaving your property empty whilst you are absent. There are some sitters that will take dogs into their own homes, which can be a good option for some dogs who have never been into kennels and prefer a more homely environment.
If you have any concerns about your pet over the Christmas period please do not hesitate to contact any of our four surgeries.