Nothing beats a break from your normal routine! Almost everyone looks forward to summer holidays, but do your pets enjoy it as much as you do?
With a little planning, all the family should be able to enjoy the summer holidays, even the four-legged ones.
Firstly – Decide On Whether To Take Your Pet On Your Summer Holidays
Your first decision is whether or not to take your pet with you. Some things to consider are:
- Does your pet travel well?
- Is the place where you are staying pet-friendly?
- How long is the journey?
- Is your pet micro-chipped?
- How does your pet react to being in an unfamiliar place?
- If you are holidaying abroad, what are the applicable laws for your pet in the country you are visiting?
- Travelling to Europe after Brexit – If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, after 31st October 2019 the rules for travelling to EU countries with your pet will change. You should start the process at least four months before you travel.
- Is your pet up to date on all their vaccinations, especially rabies, and is their parasite management in hand?
- If going by plane, will your pet cope with being in the hold, as pets coming in and out of the UK have to travel as cargo?
Sometimes taking them with you is not the best option for your pet. If you have any doubts at all about your pet’s ability to travel or whether they will enjoy being away with you, DO NOT take them.
Leaving Your Pet At Home
If you do decide to leave your pet at home there are three main care options. Which you choose depends on you and your pet:
- Using a pet sitter – Your pet stays at home and a sitter comes in whilst you are away.
- Home boarding – Your pet goes to live at someone else’s home.
- Kennel or cattery stay – Your pet goes to stay at a location custom designed for looking after animals.
IMPORTANT: If you use independent professionals such as a professional sitter or home boarder, always make sure you check their references, ensure they have pet insurance, and meet them in advance.
Top Tips – Kennel Or Cattery Stays
If you do choose to use a kennel or cattery, here are some tips to help the stay go smoothly for your pet:
- Prepare in advance – Give yourself ample time to choose what and who you will be using. Reputable professionals (and friends!) can get booked up months in advance.
- Arrange a trial stay – Consider a trial stay for a day or overnight.
- Give them Zylkene – A supplement like Zylkene can help them cope with changes and stressful situations. Ensure you’ve started administration several days before you go and ensure it is continued until you get home and are back in a normal routine. Bear in mind that many dogs and cats will learn to associate signs such as appearance of suitcases or pet carriers with these events, and this should be considered when deciding when it’s best to start giving them Zylkene.
- Remember your paperwork, supplements and medications – Make sure the carer has a written log of your pet’s routines, needs and supplements and can access them all.
- Be relaxed – When you leave, be cheerful and matter-of-fact rather than consoling, to avoid worrying your pet.
Taking Your Pet With You
If you have decided to take them with you, preparing in advance is crucial – especially if you are travelling abroad.
Top tips – Travelling with your pet
- General preparation – Get a suitable cat carrier or dog crate. Most travel will require that your pet travels in a suitable carrier or crate that is safe, secure, well-ventilated and spacious.
- Practice travelling with your pet – Use the crate or carrier on short journeys to get your pet used to travelling in it, rewarding them at every stage. Keep an eye out for signs of travel sickness, and go to your vet for advice if need be.
- Check your travel company requirements – Make sure they accept pets, and that you know the requirements for travel of the airline, ferry, bus or train company you are using
- Give them Zylkene – Whether travelling in the UK or abroad, Zylkene can help your pet cope with a potentially stressful journey. If you have fully considered the impacts and are comfortable with the decision to take your pet with you, consider using Zylkene several days before you travel and ensure it is continued during the travel period and when you return home until your normal routines are in place. Don’t forget – Zylkene Chews are available for dogs and are very convenient when on the move.
Help Them Cope!
As you get closer to your summer holidays, changes in the household are inevitable and will be noticed by your pets, which can become a stressful time for both of you. Whether you are leaving your pet at home or taking them with you, giving them Zylkene can help them cope with the lead up to the summer holiday period.
Zylkene is a calming supplement containing a natural ingredient derived from milk to help cats and dogs cope with stressful situations.