Tips for Leaving Your Pet When Traveling this Holiday Season

four dogs sitting

As holiday season begins, so does one of the busiest travel times of the year! If you are planning to take a trip over the holidays that does not include your pet, you also need to help prepare your pet for your absence. This is especially important if you have not been on a trip for a while and your pet may not be used to being left along for long periods or going to another location to stay. These preparation tips can help you and your pet have a stress-free holiday!

If you plan to use a day care or boarding facility like Camp Bow Wow® for your pet:

  • Get reservations in early as many locations fill up during the busy travel season
  • Check out your pet’s vaccine status and make sure your pet is up to date on all required vaccinations for your chosen pet care facility
  • Do a few, shorter visits to allow your pet time to adjust to a different routine and staying away from the home, especially if your pet hasn’t attended the pet care facility in a few months or more
    • Consider one overnight stay to help adapt to this part of the routine as well
  • Bring your pet’s own food to the pet care facility
    • Many facilities offer a house food, but abrupt changes in diet can sometimes cause upset stomachs, which is best to avoid

If you plan to use a pet-sitter or have your pet stay with a friend or family member:

  • Let your pet meet their sitter at the location where they will be staying
    • This is important whether meeting for the first time or because it’s been a while since they’ve seen the sitter
  • Try a practice run of an in-home visit or a few hours at your sitter’s home to make sure your pet is comfortable, and your sitter sees how they adjust
  • Write out detailed care instructions and review with your sitter before trip

For all pet care options:

  • Reach out to your emergency contacts to let them know you’ll be out of town in case your pet needs anything
    • It’s important that emergency contact information is accurate and available for someone local who will be staying in town
  • Make sure any medication your pet needs is labeled, has clear instructions, and enough to last for the duration of your trip
  • Ensure pet id tags are correct and attached to your pet’s collar