Dr. Julie Damron

3 minutes reading time (639 words)

Care for your companions when you travel

When you have to travel away from your buddies, there are different care options to consider, and some things to keep in mind. Typically you would choosing between boarding your canine or feline, or using a pet sitter.

If your choose to board your pets, make sure their vaccines are current, and have been updated at least a week prior to the boarding date. Also, make sure your companions receive their monthly flea and Heartworm preventatives before their stay. When able, it is best to bring your own food. Rapid diet changes often cause digestive upset, and can lead to significant illness. Personal bedding and toys can also bring the comforts of home.

We have several good boarding facilities in our area including Sycamore Lane Kennels www.sycamorelanekennels.com (209) 334-1316, and The Canine Culture www.canineculture.com (209) 931-0758. Our clinic, Sierra Veterinary Clinic, www.sierravetclinic.com (209) 477-4841 also offers boarding on a limited basis. In deciding which venue is best for you and your companions, it can be very helpful to have a tour of the facilities. Talk to several of the staff members, to see if they seem knowledgeable and caring.

There are also several questions you should ask. How long have they been in business? Are reviews available? What is the noise level? What strategies are in place to provide your buddy with a calm, quiet atmosphere. Are canines and felines housed separately? How clean is the facility? Are the kennels/cages climate controlled? How much space is there for each boarder? Is the bedding placed on the floor, or are there raised sleeping areas? How secure is the facility? Can you bring your own bedding and toys? What opportunities are available for your canine or feline to exercise? Is there a chance for your pets to socialize with other animals if you want this? How much personal contact will your pet receive? Is grooming available? Can the facility give medications to your buddy if needed? Is 24 care provided? What happens if your canine or feline needs veterinary care? What food do they provide? Are you allowed to bring your own pet food? What if you want extra feedings? If your pet has other special needs, are they able to accommodate them? What are the hours and days of operation? Are there special rates for multiple pets or extended stays? Are they a pet care services association (PCSA) accredited facility? This is a voluntary program that includes 270 detailed requirements.

If you don't want to board your companion, consider a pet sitter. This person visits or stays at your home, to provide care for your buddies in their own environment. When choosing a service, make sure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured. Some organizations charge per pet, and some charge per visit. Using a pet sitter can have several advantages. For many animals this can be a lot less stressful because they remain in their own home, and they do not have the stress of traveling. The care is very personalized, and the hours are more flexible. Also, your pets are also not exposed to other animals who can be ill or have parasites. Some companies will also provide other services such as checking the mail and watering your plants. In terms of home safety, it is always better to have someone staying at your house than to have it empty. Ma and Paws pet care is an excellent local pet sitting service owned by April Taylor www.ma-and-paws.com (209) 943-3090. Whiskers & Paws, owned by Sandy Pike, is another local pet sitting service (209) 478-5479.

I recommend to investigate these services well in advance of the time that you will actually need them. Having a care option that best meets the needs of you and your cherished companions will give you peace of mind when you cannot be there.

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Saturday, 15 December 2018