You spend a heck of a lot of time socializing and playing with your pooch or your beloved moggy. You make sure that he’s got things to do, and doesn’t wreck your furniture out of boredom. So why then, around vacation time, do you pack the anxious dogs off to a kennel or pet-sitter without a second thought?
Increasing numbers of Americans are spending more time on vacation, but what do they do with their beloved pets?
These days, many vacation rentals or even hotel chains allow furry guests. Your pets get to enjoy the same comfort and hospitality as your family does.
Naturally, the main benefit of this is that you don’t have the expense of making other arrangements. But it does mean you have to plan well in advance, making sure your pet is ready for unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells.
With their highly active minds, cats can be even more of a challenge to transport over long distances. Giving them toys they recognize from home can help keep them settled.
But… what about other people?
Consider the behavior of your pet, thrust into an unfamiliar setting. How well do they cope with being around other people?
Does your dog get agitated in strange surroundings? Does your cat leave a mess in the litter more often – or even miss the pan altogether – when dealing with strangers? Dealing with this kind of fallout (no pun intended), you have to wonder if your pet companion can handle temporary boarding.
But many of us don’t want our pets to miss out on the excitement of visiting new places and encountering new friends. Taking a break from home improvement topics, thespruce.com has recently put together a few pointers on pet-travel etiquette:
Top tips for a fuss-free trip with four-legged friends
- Check in advance that the hotels you book are pet-friendly. This might help avoid extra expense as well as embarrassment.
- Expect to pay a deposit at any place that accepts your pets. They have a point – after your pup leaves, the room might need extra cleaning.
- Take your pet in for a check-up before you leave and have them treated for fleas. You don’t want them lingering in the car, or worse, causing a breakout at the hotels where you stay.
- Research whether all the spots you plan to visit will accept pets. Most places have their pet acceptance rules clearly posted online.
- Bring a few blankets from home so you can spread them out over the furniture in your room as reassurance.
- Don’t leave pets in your room, or alone in the car. As The Spruce puts it: “Why bother bringing them on vacation, then?”.
- Make sure your pooch doesn’t get overly friendly with other people. People can freak out when pounced on by a dog, friendly or not.
- Bring chew toys they’re accustomed to, so they’d avoid the room’s furniture and save you a fortune in damages.
- Find out where the designated dog-walking areas are, and treat the neighborhood as if it were your own. Pick up your dog’s poop.
- If your travelling companion is a cat, double up on litter tray cleaning to avoid the smell spreading around the accommodation.
- Keep your dog leashed while away from your room – except, of course, in designated exercise areas.
- Take the dogs for early-morning and late-night walks, so you can be confident of not having any mishaps in your room overnight.
Anxious dogs enjoying downtime
Of course, plenty of animals enjoy exploring new places. The travel to get to them is part of that excitement… or it will be, if you prepare right.
We covered preparing anxious dogs for a trouble-free trip already. This time, we’re focused solely on keeping pets happy in their temporary home.
If you leave your dogs at home when you go out to work, you probably know that they can suffer from separation anxiety. This issue can have serious long-term effects on their behaviour.
Author Nancy Kerns points out that anxious dogs also get bored easily when separated from their human companions. This often leads to excessive barking, chewing, and even pooping around the house.
Some owners have had success with baby monitors and webcams in calming anxious dogs. Still, it’s still gotta be better for them to be with you – or at least, someone you can trust.
“Our dogs’ lives – mostly indoors, with plush beds and enriching toys and plenty to eat – seem pretty darn good”, notes Nancy. But it’s because they’re so used to these comforts that they freak when denied our company.
The stress doesn’t have to be all yours…
This is why, rather than hiring a pet-sitter to visit while you’re away, it might be a good idea to treat your dog to a vacation.
A sitter can only spend so much time playing with your pup; then they have to head off and tend to someone else’s pet. That sets off the previous pattern of the anxious dog’s behavior straight away.
You might not be able to transport your pet yourself, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come along!
At Citizenshipper, we regularly cater to pet owners going to a summer home, or even just their temporary vacation base. They hire drivers to collect their furry friends from home before they head away, then deliver them at the destination just as they’re unpacking and settling in.
Throughout the trip, your pet will have constant human companionship. Their feeding and toilet times needn’t be disrupted. Upon delivery, you’ll find them as relaxed and ready to enjoy the vacation as you are.
You’ve worked all year round to earn that break – so why not appreciate it all the more by having your faithful friend with you? That’s just one possibility you can consider, thanks to CitizenShipper’s pet transportation.