Wednesday, 14 November 2012

No Pets allowed - Separate vacations for pets

No pets allowed, doesn’t mean no holiday fun at all. As much as we'd like to bring our pet along for the ride, sometimes we just can’t take our pet on holidays with us. Which means we have to have someone else care for them. There are a few options when it comes to pet care.


One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. These animals are usually found to be suffering from separation anxiety. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors. Dog kennels and catteries offer peace of mind for the travelling owner. Dogs are fed, let out to play, and while the dog might think his kennel is a jail, he or she is actually in a safe environment. Cats are kept in at night and some kennels have TVs for the guests. Stays can be for as little as one day and for as long as the pet can handle it.

Some kennels are more like Club–Med for pets. Ritzy owners want ritzy places for their pampered pet to stay. Pet Paradise Resorts in Charlotte USA offers wrought-iron beds, frames animal photos in the room, charis upholstered in doggy print, grooming, day spas.

The Club-Med-for-mutts near Charlotte Douglas International Airport is part of a growing trend toward luxury pet boarding - where businesses calling themselves "hotels" and "spas" pamper pooches with everything from golf-cart rides and "Yappy Hour" ice cream to bedtime stories and orthopedic mattresses.

Tuscarora's Country Club for Dogs comes complete with golf carts, as any proper country club should.


Pet sitting comes in two forms – professional and volunteer. It can also involve dropping the pet off at a friend’s house. For those who are going to be relying on a friend to pet sitting there are many things to consider.

Fish, birds, mice, snakes, lizards, rabbits, and guinea pigs aren’t exactly on the front covers of dog kennel brochures.

For owners dropping the pet to a friend’s house:

Choose someone who loves animals as much as you do.

Write a list of instructions, including ailments, dietary requirements, amounts of food to feed, how long to walk etc.

Bring walking leads, food, blanket, toys from home, things to help the pet feel at home.

Provide contact numbers.

Do offer to pay or buy a gift. It is less likely the dog sitter will neglect duties if they don’t feel they are being taken advantage of.

Convince someone who isn't all that into animals to take care of yours. You can't risk that they won't.
For sitters taking a pet into their house:

Respect the owner’s wishes. If something is on the list of things not to do, it is there for a reason.

Take holiday snaps and burn them to disc or print them out for the owner to see how much of a good time the animal had.
Neglect your own pets. Pets are very protective of their owners, especially when it comes to their affection. While you’re ensuring someone else’s pet is free from separation anxiety, your own might become pick up the habit.

For those opting for stay at home pet sitting:

Some pets are lucky that they have neighbors who can walk and feed them. Similar to pet sitting but in most cases the neighbour does this service for free.

Make sure you can 100 per cent trust that person to look after your pet.  

Bring back a souvenir for their efforts. Everyone likes a thank you gift or two.
Leave the place in a mess. It's not up to your friend to clean up after you. They're here to look after your pets, not you. 

The nasty side of pet owners
'Handbag dogs' are being dumped by their owners in record numbers, reports the Blue Cross. The poor chihuahua - it's the latest in a long line of indignities for the world's smallest dog. In 2006, 53 handbag dogs were taken in by Blue Cross animal centres in Britain; in the past 12 months, this has more than tripled to 191.


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