Are you going on holidays? Have you thought about what you are going to do with your best friend?
Holidays can be a very anxious time for your pet, as they have their regular routine changed, and are separated from you. Even if you take them with you, their routine is still disturbed.
Dogs Cats & Birds
Dogs left to their own devices can get into a lot of mischief, and when you aren???t there, are usually trying to figure out how to get out so they can talk to that dog over the road! It is a good idea to book your animals into boarding kennels well in advance, or organise a house sitter. If boarding your animal, make sure they are treated for fleas, ticks and any other parasites prior to admission, and when you collect them. Ask about when and what they will feed your pet, and whether they can administer any special needs! Most boarding kennels will do this. Some boarding kennels will also feed your dog a special diet, if requested and forewarned. Try to adjust your pet to the boarding kennels feeding times and food, prior to their admission, so it will not be such a change for them. Ask if your pet will have his own enclosure, and how often he will be exercised. If you have more than one pet and they are used to being together (of the same type of course) quite often it is possible to house them together, if you forewarn and they have a big enough enclosure.This can help reduce the stress, as they will have a familiar companion with them. Take with you your contact number, or someone else that can help in an emergency if you are unable to be contacted, and make sure you take your vets details with you, as well as sufficient medication for extra time, if you get delayed. It can also help if you give your pet a toy from home and their own bedding, especially if they will be on their own. When you collect your pet, check that they have been treated for fleas, ticks and/or mites, and that none are visible on them as taking these pests home with you can cause ongoing frustration and problems. It is not a bad idea to purchase a product such as Capstar, as it will kill any fleas on your dog and cat within a couple of hours, and can be repeated on subsequent days if needed. Boarding kennels will normally accept dogs, cats and birds. Always ask if you can inspect the facilities prior to booking in your pet, and if you are not satisfied with the cleanliness of the facilities, and the staff attitude, go somewhere else. Ensure they have a policy of only vaccinated animals and that your pet is vaccinated up to date. There are also services avialable in town that will come to your house and care for your animals in their own homes. While this can be ideal in terms of reducing the stress put on your animals and is recommended when possible, these services are often a little more expensive than boarding kennels.
Reptiles, Small Animals &Birds
Reptiles, small animals, and birds, like dogs and cats, should not be left unattended at home, as if they run out of water or their cage/enclosure is knocked over, can be disastrous unless found early. Water dishes can develop cracks or get knocked over, either out of mischief or excitement, and food can be soiled. The cages and enclosures need to be cleaned and checked daily. If you cannot find boarding kennels that will take them, it is best to drop them over to a willing friend???s house for care. In the case of licence animals, such as reptiles, it is best to contact Queensland Parks and Wildlife for advice as to what paper work needs to be supplied. Ensure you leave with your friend your contact details, sufficient food, other requirements and your vet???s and pet store's phone number, in case they have any queries that we can help them with.
Having aviaries can make it difficult to get away, and having some one that knows your routine will greatly assist the safety of your birds. In a tight spot you can get your neighbour or someone you trust to check the food and water daily, but ensure they know what to do and how to contact you in case of emergency. It is also a good idea to leave them a list of the species of birds you possess, as if they need to contact us for help, at least they can advise us what species they are dealing with.
Fish are a little harder. The two biggest killers of fish whilst on holidays is well meaning babysitters overfeeding your fish (but they still looked hungry!) and heat from being in a locked up house. If you cannot have your house ventilated safely when you are away, it will be best to organise a house sitter. Using a timer for the aquarium light will also help your fish to keep their regular routine. Do any maintenance that is due a few days before you leave including a water change, divide your food up into daily portions (use snap lock bags) and hide the remainder. Leave an emergency pack with instructions as to what to do if something happens and explaining basic filter maintenance, our phone number, the number of litres of the tank, water conditioner, pH adjuster and a net! Sounds silly, but they need to know what to do if something happens! It is best to provide a written set of instructions so they can refer to them. If it is safe to leave them in your house unattended, the best thing to do is to get a good quality feeding block such as Aquarium Pharmacetical???s 7 day feeder, and some suitable live bunches of plant. We can advise what plant is suited for this purpose. This will see them through until you return. It is a good idea to get someone to drop in weekly to check all is good with your tank.
You can get blocks that will feed your fish for up to 3 weeks, and they also have minerals in them to assist with maintaining water quality. When you return, remove any blocks you have put in, and do your regular tank maintenance duties, even if it is a little early. Always remove feeding blocks when you return home, as they are only a temporary measure, and are not designed for the long term health of your fish.
Ponds generally do not require much care whilst you are away, unless it is for an extended period. Pond feeding blocks with water stabilisers are also available. If you have people looking after your house, ensure you leave instructions for the pond.
Fish kept in bowls are best fostered out to a willing friend, as the small amount of water is unstable and will require more maintenance. It is not a good idea to place a fish feeding block in a bowl.
When you return, give your pet heaps of praise and cuddles, then ease them back into their normal routine gently. Have a good holiday by ensuring your pet will too!
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As a member of PIAA, Pet HQ does not condone puppy farms and we are dedicated to the sourcing of our puppies from responsible breeders that are subject to independent audit each year. By registering our puppies with PIAA we also ensure that any puppy purchased from our store that becomes unwanted or abandoned, at any age, is re-homed. See here for more information.