Deciding whether to take your pet along for vacation is an intricate decision to make.It’s vacation time and you deserve a break; in fact you worked all year to have it. But you have a pet, which is your responsibility. So, what do you do? Vacation with or without your pet? The good news is, you have choices, there are a lot of different options available, and all you have to do is select one you feel comfortable with. Let’s have a look.Vacationing with your petIf you do the homework, you can find numerous travel destinations that will cater to your pet. Your animal will be happy to tag along on your vacation, after all, there is no place they would rather be than right by your side!Pet-friendly establishmentsThere are plenty of restaurants, hotels and even airlines that have gone above and beyond to ensure you and your pet have a fabulous experience together.Air travelThere are size restrictions, and if your dog or cat qualifies, you can travel with your pet in the airline cabin or make arrangements to put them in the hold. Either way, you need to book your pet in and pay a fee. If your pet travels with you in the cabin, you will need an airline approved pet carrier.CampingThe great outdoors, a juicy steak on the grill, and a swim in the lake can be a fun and healthy way to vacation with your pet, and tighten your bond. But there are a few things to take into consideration. Ensure you pack your pet’s food in a secure container to keep the bugs out. And pack their medical records in case of an emergency, you will know where to go, and have all proper documentation.BeachSpend the day at a doggie beach. You can soak up the sun, splash in the water, and let your animal play with other pets. But be mindful to keep your dog leashed at all times, and be responsible with picking up after your pet. Also monitor their time in the Sun so they don’t overheat.Vacationing without your petIf it is not suitable to travel with your pet, or your pet is simply too big to pack in bag and sling over your shoulder, you have options. Here are some to consider.The friend optionThis sounds good in theory: you know the people so you can trust them. But, how well do they know your pet, and do they have the qualifications or know-how to look after a pet and realize what’s involved? For instance: is your pet on a special diet, and if your friend gives your pet table scraps are you going to be up for a vet bill or worse? If you are a pet owner, you know there are certain foods that are toxic and can be even fatal for a pet.Professional sitting servicesRover.com offers an in-home dog sitting service, which can be in the sitter’s home, and in some cases the sitter will come and stay in your home. They provide dog day care, in-home, overnight and travel dog sitting, so no matter how long you are vacationing for, you can find someone suitable for all scenarios, and get references, too. This service is so popular that Rover.com advertises that a dog owner books a sitter every minute.DogVacay.com, also an in-home sitting service, where you can browse the site to find a suitable sitter near you. A well-screened dog-sitter will look after your best friend while you are on vacation and provide you with regular updates.Both Rover.com and DogVacay have an online booking service and provide reviews for their pet sitters, very similar to an Airbnb set up, and have become a popular way to go on vacation while feeling assured that your pet is being professionally looked after while they have their own vacation.Kennels and Day CareLocal kennels and some groomers offer doggie day care that can be extended to included vacations – if you feel comfortable with your local providers, it’s worth an enquiry.In the end, it is all about how comfortable you are with the situation and person, and that will determine if you will have a worry free vacation or not. But in all cases, whether you board, sit or take your pet, there is a certain amount of preparation you need to do. There is information to take with you or pass on to others, to ensure that your pet’s regular diet and or routine are not too disturbed. The more you can keep stable in your pet’s life, the less stressed your pet will be.
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