For the love of you pets: Plan for pets on vacation

Aug. 4, 2011 at 3:04 a.m.

By John Beck

I'm planning a last minute summer vacation. I'm not sure if we should take our dog with us or leave him behind. What are the options available for boarding pets in this area?

A lot of people are in the same boat as you. Unsure if it is better to leave your dog behind or worth the extra mile to take him with you on your family vacation. If you are planning an outdoor vacation, you might consider taking your dog with you.

First, make sure the sites and parks you are visiting allow pets. The next step is to find accommodations for your pet and your family. Finding a pet friendly hotel is a must. Don't try and sneak your pet into a facility that doesn't welcome pets. You will find your family and pet without a bed very quickly. Many hotels are now offering pets to stay for a small fee or even for free, due to the increased demand. If you are planning on leaving your pet behind in the hotel room while you're are out and about, make sure you bring toys to keep him occupied.

Don't forget food and water bowls, current food, treats, bedding and any medications your pet may need.

If you decide to leave your pet behind, making arrangements for him early is a must. You can board your pet at a veterinary hospital or boarding facility. Touring the facility to make sure it accommodates your pet's needs is a good idea. You can also decide what size kennel would be best for your pet and talk with the staff about what is provided and what you need to provide for him.

Another option when leaving your pet behind is a sitter. There are many sitters in our area that will either come to your home to care for your dog or keep the dog at their house. Whether, you choose a kennel or sitter, make sure they have all of your veterinarians information in case there is a problem or accident while you are away. Also, make sure they know the amount of money you are willing to spend on veterinary care and the extent you will go to save your pets life. It's a horrible thing to think about, but accidents happen and you will want them to do the right thing.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding boarding or traveling with your pet, feel free to contact me or your current veterinarian.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at



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