Arranging for pet care during the holidays

The year-end holiday season can be stressful for everyone, but more so for pet parents. There may be some trips that you absolutely can’t take them to, and obviously our furry friends don’t like change either, especially when their best friends (pet parents)are far away from them and they don’t know why!

However, early and careful planning may easily reduce your holiday stress and theirs. Don’t put off trying to plan for it; research and plan early, and you will have the best shot at finding the best care for your pet babies. That way you can also relax and think about planning your most-awaited holiday of the year. Here are some important tips to keep in mind –

Book really early

Most pet sitters and caretakers get last-minute frantic phone calls before the holiday season kicks-off. You must know that kennels are extremely busy this time of year, and pet sitters also have holiday plans. All of them may be booked already or have plans, especially if you are looking for the most reliable person or option. So, if you haven’t finalized your pet plans, get off the couch and get on the phone right now!

Things to know about cat sitting

Just because cats are low maintenance doesn’t mean all they need is some dry food and your neighbour changing their water every couple of days is the best form of cat sitting. Let us tell you how it’s done.

While cats don’t need walking like dogs and and are generally self-sufficient, but house cats still require daily visits from someone who is an experienced cat person themselves. The job of the pet sitter is not just to clean cat poop and refill water and food bowls, but also check on your cat’s well-being. Instruct your cat sitter to check for their hiding places every day and make sure their litter box is being used. It is also imperative to check that cats, especially the male ones, are urinating every day.

Dog walker and dog sitter – don’t confuse the two

You might be lucky enough to score someone who is adept at both pet walking and pet sitting, but that is usually a rarity. We’d suggest you do your research thoroughly as a dog sitter needs to be infinitely more responsible than a dog walker. Just think of it as someone taking care of a human baby. Would you entrust someone with your child if all they knew was how to push a stroller? Similarly, caring for your dog also means more than just walking them around.

A home for your cats

If you think your cats would be safer in a boarding house, or has medical issues that need daily attention, then find a cat-friendly kennel. And no dogs, please. Cat-only spaces are where they will be most comfortable and not stressed. Check for comfortable beds, and perches.

Don’t push it to ‘later’

Let’s not wait to make these arrangements till Christmas eve. Don’t downplay your pet’s needs to find just any kennel. Also don’t entrust your pets with someone who just desperately needs a job, but has no experience with pets. Give your vets a heads-up about you leaving, so they can advise on the best treatment and care. Avoid the stress and the guilt that will come with an untoward incident by planning way ahead of time.

Let’s together do everything this festive season to leave our pets in capable hands.

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