Heading out on a well-deserved breakaway is something we all look forward to, but many of the pet owners among us also have a sense of trepidation about leaving our four-legged furbabies at home while we soak up the sun or relax in the bush.
If you feel hesitant about going on holiday, here are a few quick and easy tips to ensure that your pets are safe, taken care of and happy when you’re on holiday.
Find someone to tend to your pets while you’re gone
While many pet owners opt to have their pets stay at a kennel for dogs or cats when they're not at home, first prize is having someone check in and feed your pets while you’re gone. If you don’t have friends or family that can take on this task for you, check out the classifieds or social media – experienced pet sitters are a dime a dozen, especially during holiday periods. Having someone tend to your pet at home means their routine isn’t disrupted and they still get to see and play with someone.
Make sure your pet’s collar tag and microchip are updated with the correct information
Any pet owner knows that animals have a knack for escaping and going on their own adventures at the most inopportune times. This is why it is important to ensure your personal information has been updated on the tag on your pet’s collar or on their ID microchip. If they have not yet been micro-chipped, consider doing this before you leave – this way, anyone that comes across your footloose and fancy-free pooch or puss will know where to return them.
Leave comprehensive care instructions for your sitter
Don’t leave your pet sitter in the dark as to how they should take care of your pet. Leave detailed instructions about feeding (how much food they eat, and how often, not forgetting to mention how many treats they are allowed), medication (if your pet is taking medication, also let your sitter know how you usually administer it), and sleeping or lavatorial habits. In this regard, it’s a good idea to have your sitter come over before you leave so you can clearly explain your pet’s routine, and have them meet your pet.
Leave a few notes about your pet
Every pet is unique, and they all have distinctive quirks and habits that your pet sitter may not be aware of. If your dog tends to bolt after other animals or cars, let your pet sitter know about this, so it doesn’t catch them off-guard when they go for a walk. If they aren’t fond of other animals, or get scared when there’s bad weather, mention these matters before you leave.
Small comforts go a long way
It goes without saying that your pet will probably miss your presence around the house, even if they adore the pet sitter. Leave an old t-shirt in your pet’s bed to remind them of your scent, and if your household is usually bustling with activity, ask your sitter to leave the radio playing when they head out.
Make sure your sitter has your contact details
Leave contact details for yourself and for friends or family that live nearby if your pet sitter needs to call you for any reason. Most pet sitters won’t mind you checking in with them once every often, either.
If you’re in search of treats, pet food or toys, look no further than Family Pet Centre at Hazeldean Square. Family Pet Centre has a wide range of pet products for both domestic and exotic pets – find the Hazeldean Square branch at shop 47, or call 010 013 2232.