Written by July Hebbel – Marketing and Communications at Tauranga Vets 

With summer just around the corner and our beautiful country to explore, many of us will be thinking about heading away from home.  Whether you are booking your pet into an animal boarding facility, leaving them in the good hands of someone else or considering taking them with you, there’s plenty of things to think about and plan for.

Pet friendly holiday options

Holidays are the best when the whole family is together – and for many that includes their furry companion! In the past it was harder to find pet friendly accommodation, but a search of baches and holiday homes online will give you plenty of options throughout New Zealand where our furry friends are more than welcome. There are also a number of campgrounds and holiday parks that welcome dogs too.

Make sure that before you hit the road, you plan ahead. Make a list of the all the necessities you need to take. Are there rules around where your dog can play, off-leash areas nearby? Is the property or area fully fenced? Where will your dog sleep and will there be enough shade at your choice of accommodation?  As well as being microchipped, your dog should wear a collar with an identity tag with your name, holiday address and contact details, so if they get lost you can be reunited as quickly as possible. It’s also a good idea to make sure there’s a vet clinic nearby, just in case.

Boarding facilities or pet sitters?

Many pets will find a change in environment and routine stressful, not to mention a long journey in the car, so finding a good cattery or kennels might be the better option for you.

If you already know of a great boarding facility you trust, great, but if not, it’s a good idea to take the time to find a place that’s suitable for your pet. If it’s your first time choosing an animal boarding facility, ask your vet, friends or family for recommendations. Always visit the boarder before choosing one, ask questions and choose the one that feels right for you and your pet. Many boarding facilities book out fast, so we encourage you to book in sooner rather than later.

It’s important that all your pet’s vaccinations are up to date before their stay in a boarding facility. Talk to the boarding facility owners or staff about what is required and make an appointment at your vet clinic with plenty of time to spare. Also make sure your pet is up to date with their flea and worm treatments, the last thing you want to take home with you after your holiday is a coat full of parasites!

Alternatively, if you’re anxious about leaving your pet in a new and strange environment and prefer to keep their routine the same, try to find a pet-sitter. A family member or a friend, or even a professional pet sitter may be up for the job!

Travelling with your pet

Long road trips in the car can be just as tiresome for pets as they are on us. Remember that regular breaks for food, water, toileting and leg stretching will make the journey less stressful for both yourself and your furry companion.

If possible, try to get your pet used to trips in the car before you embark on a long one. Try to make sure their experience in the car is a positive one, eliminating as much stress as possible.

Before your trip, ask yourself, is my pet safe in the car? Is the cat carrier secured properly in the car and is my dog secured safely in a harness? Although plenty of dogs love the feeling of their head out the window and the breeze on their face, it is much safer to have them secured properly. Dogs will easily jump out of a car’s window, if your pet can get their head out the window, then they can get out completely!

Is there plenty of ventilation in the car? Remember, it is hotter on the floor and in the back of a car compared to the front. Does your pet suffer from travel sickness? Ask your vet for advice on medications and other tips to keep them happy and well during the trip.

If you need to update your animal’s vaccinations, need flea/worm treatment or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us – Tauranga, Te Puna, Katikati and Papamoa Village Vets – 0800 838 7267.