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06 Jan 2018 15:46
Leaving Your Pet in Someone Else's Care 
No matter how much a part of our family, our pets - both dogs and cats - aren't always welcome when traveling. Whether you decide to leave you pets with friends, family, or professional pet care services, there are a few basics for consideration in all cases.

1. ID Tags should be up to date. No matter how careful, accidents happen. While most owners tag their pets with their own phone numbers, consider having a temporary tag made with the contact information of the person caring for your pet. And while microchips are also good ideas, understand that to read the chip, the pet must be taken to a vet with a reader.

2. Up to date vaccinations. This is especially important when boarding your pet at a kennel or a service that takes in more than one pet at a time. Additionally, vaccinations are essential before beginning to socialize your pet with others, and particularly before using a Dog Park.

3. Provide detailed care instructions. This includes feeding, sleeping habits, activity requirements, medications, and anything important to your pet's lifestyle. Be sure to provide emergency contact information about how to reach you, the pet's vet and an alternative person if you are unreachable.

When choosing who or where to take care of your pet, consider how this replicates your pet's normal lifestyle. Boarding pets at a kennel will mean the majority of time will be spent in the kennel enclosure, often alone, with limited activity. Leave a rambunctious, active dog with your elderly, physically limited parents might not be a good match.

4. If leaving your pet for the first time at an unfamiliar location, whether a friend's house or a professional service, visit that location with your pet. This provides you and your pet an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the caretaker and the location. Is there a place for your pet's bedding? Are both the outside and insider safe, free of hazards, protected? And how does your pet respond to the caretaker?

5. When leaving your pet with a professional caretaker, inquire about licensing, insurance and training.

Sometimes the most difficulty with traveling and leaving your pet behind is your own anxiety. Aly Semigran is a staff writer for PawCulture. Take a look at her advice in "How to Cope with the Anxiety of Leaving Your Pet When You Go Away."

For more information, click here(1) and here(2).

Kay Lantow