As Christmas draws closer and summer holiday and travel plans get into full swing, pet owners are being urged not to forget their furry friends in the festive rush.
Dr Vadim Chelom, a Melbourne-based veterinarian and the chief executive officer of app-based home vet visit booking service Pawssum Vets, said whether you were taking your pet on holiday with you, vacationing at home or arranging outside care for your pet while you travel, planning for their health and safety was essential.
“The first absolutely essential step is to ensure your pet’s general health and vaccinations are up-to-date because at this time of year it can easily slip your mind, putting your pet at risk,” he said.
“If you’re taking them away with you for Christmas or leaving your pet with a sitter, it’s always better to have their vaccinations done before you go so there aren’t any issues while you’re out of town – and if you’re leaving them at a kennel, it’s a condition of their stay that vaccinations are current; this can catch out many owners and ruin holiday plans.”
Dr Chelom said it was also wise to carefully weigh up the options when considering taking a pet on vacation.
“Holidays generally mean a loss of routine and obviously a change in environment which many dogs and cats don’t like,” he explained.
“So whilst it may be hard to leave them in a boarding setting or at home with a sitter, it can actually be the kindest thing, particularly for pets who experience anxiety.
“You also have the benefit of your pet being able to see their own vet in the comfort of their own home if any health issues need to be checked during this period and, with the Pawssum app, owners can be part of the decision making process with the vet in real time, as well as check their pet’s health updates while they travel.”
Dr Chelom said if owners decided to take their pet with them on holiday, it was a good plan to keep some things the same.
“Ideally, you’d take their usual foods and bed with you so they have some consistency, and try to keep to your at-home exercise routine if at all possible too,” he said.
And if you’re leaving your pet home, ensure the boarding facility or sitter has your pet’s current information.
“If your pet does need treatment while you’re away, it’s important those caring for them have their latest health details, including any medications they’re on and current vet contact information,” said Dr Chelom.
“For those owners that use Pawssum, just update the address the pet will be staying at while you’re away, ensure your credit card details are current and thenshare the Pawssum app information with your carer because all your pet’s health records are on there.”
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