As things settle a bit around here, some people are keen to get moving again! Here are a few things to think about before you head out!
If you're leaving your pet behind:
1. Please ensure you have enough food and medications for the duration of your absence, plus some. Sometimes pet sitters don't follow precisely the same routine, and you don't want to run out!
2. Ensure your pet sitter or kennel/cattery has all the information they need, like your pets' vet name and number, your contact information, any wishes you have regarding their care, your pets' diets, and a list of all current medications.
3. Let your vet know you're traveling without your pet and who will be in charge. This also gives you a chance to discuss any wishes you have about potential treatment, vital for senior pets in particular. We are not legally allowed to treat your pet without your permission, so we need to know if you've assigned someone to act on your behalf. We don't want to be scrambling to reach you!
If you're bringing your pet with you:
1. Check out not just your destination but all the stops along the way, and find out the requirements. Check with your airlines before providing travel medications; some won't fly sedated animals. Some campgrounds require bordetella vaccinations. Crossing into the States (and getting back into Canada!) require rabies vaccinations. International travel will need at LEAST a health certificate, but often much more, including a microchip! No one wants a trip derailed by a surprise requirement! Check out the CFIA website for international information, and talk to us about the timing for these treatments well in advance.
2. If your animal has to be kennelled for some of the trip, get them comfortable with the kennel now! Check out this page about kennel training and start early! (Honestly, being kennel trained is excellent for surprise travel needs, moving, and vet visits, so worth a look!)
3. Call a "local" vet. If you can, call a vet local to your destination and ask them about some of these diseases and whether they advocate for protection in their area. We're so lucky on Vancouver Island that we don't see some of these, but when traveling, your pet might be at risk. We can also guide you for some regions, but local knowledge is beneficial!
Some issues abroad: Leptospirosis, Heartworm, Leishmania, Tick-borne diseases, Intestinal parasites
4. Make sure your pet is protected against Heartworm and Ticks, if at ALL applicable (and in most of North America, they are!) These are easy to prevent with monthly anti-parasiticides! Ticks can carry many diseases, which can be deadly if left untreated. Heartworm treatment is sometimes dangerous, but a significant infection can cause heart failure and death. Prevention truly is so much better than treatment in these cases!
So wherever your travels take you (with or without your pet), please include them in your plans! And remember, we're here to help! Have a great time!