Published in the August 16 – August 29 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life
If you are planning to leave Morgan Hill on vacation and you own pets, you need to decide if the pets will be going with you or staying home. This may depend on the destination and the temperament of the pets. If you leave your pet behind, make arrangements well in advance and explore all the available options.
Pet Sitters: There are many local pet sitters who will come to your home and take care of your pets. These visits may include just feeding or may also include play/activity time and walks.
Some sitters may spend some time at the home so the pet does not feel abandoned. Others may be willing to stay at the home during the evening hours. These are the questions that you should ask when looking into potential pet sitters in addition to rates.
Cats tend to do best when left in their own environment and are more content behind left alone compared to dogs. Some dogs will tolerate being left alone for long periods while other may develop behaviors associated with separation anxiety.
Boarding Facilities: Kennels are a good option for many dogs. However, you need to be aware of your pet’s temperament and the functioning of the facility.
A dog-aggressive pet may not do well being kenneled with a group of strange dogs and may be better off left at home with a pet sitter.
A friendly and active dog may find a boarding facility with room for exercise and interactive time to be more like a daycare situation.
Dogs with serious medical conditions or aggression (toward people or other animals) may do better in kennels at a veterinary hospital or a facility in which they are aware of the pet’s condition and able to medicate/address it appropriately.
If your pet is staying outside of your home, bring your own food.
Hotels: Some hotels may be pet friendly and allow you to bring a specified number of certain species. Check with the hotel in advance.
Also, be sure that your pet is current on flea preventative as these hotels are often riddled with fleas from previous pets who have not been on any flea control.
Traveling with your pet: If you are traveling across state lines with your pet (even in a vehicle) or flying, you are required by law to have a health certificate performed by an FDA-certified veterinarian to certify that your pet is free from contagious disease.
In addition, some states — such as Hawaii — have very stringent requirements on entry from California that may take several months to complete prior to the date of travel.
Traveling to another state with your pet requires some advance research and planning … don’t leave it for the last minute.
Pets that experience travel anxiety, aggression toward people or other pets may be best staying at home.
Vaccinations: Whether traveling with your pet or choosing a boarding facility, be sure that your pet is current on all appropriate vaccinations.
This should include rabies, distemper-parvo and kennel cough. Vaccinations need to be give about a week prior to exposure in order to provide protection.
Although some facilities will take a pet that has been vaccinated an hour prior to registration, that pet is only vaccinated on paper but the immune system has not had ample time to mount a protective response.
Authorization to Treat: If you are leaving your pet anywhere out of your possession, be sure that you have contacted your veterinarian with the sitter/facilities name and give that person authorization to bring in your pet for treatment.
You may be able to pre-authorize certain services or place a cap on the amount spent on services without contacting you.
You should also leave written authorization with the pet that can be brought to an emergency facility in case you cannot be contacted.
Dr. Jeanne Haggerty-Arcay received her undergraduate degrees in biology, biochemistry and Spanish from the College of Notre Dame, Belmont. She graduated from U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children.
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