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Viv the vet: Holiday pet care options - 17 November


Catteries and kennels

-Make sure you have all bookings and dates confirmed, it's a very busy time of the year!
- Ensure vaccinations are all current and check any specific kennel or cattery needs
- How to choose a suitable boarding facility
- Ask to inspect the cattery or kennel
- Look for good ventilation, even temperatures, good natural light
- Cages need to be separate, cats shouldn't be able to see each other (or be able to sneeze over each other)
- Cages need to have a sleeping shelf and an area away from the litter tray for eating, bedding needs to be of hygienic and warm material ideally "vet bed" as it is warm even if wet
- Food and water containers need to be fixed to the wall to prevent spills
- Size of the cage is important, especially if the cats are not allowed out to exercise
- Dogs need adequate exercise each day in a large outdoor run area, preferably alone or just a few other dogs

Questions to ask

- Vaccination requirements i.e. what ones, when last done?
- Is a veterinarian available if necessary?
- How often the cages are cleaned especially litter trays, and food and water replenished?
- Are special needs catered for i.e. old pets, or a special diet?
- Pick up and drop off times?
- Can I talk to other pet owners that have boarded their animals there?
- Can I bring my pets' familiar bedding?
- Security arrangements i.e. fire alarms, someone on site, double doors in/out?

Home feeding

- Ensure the feeder is well versed with your animals needs
- Supply sufficient foods, especially favourites
- Ask if the feeder will spend some time each day with your pet so they can identify any possible health problems or fretting
- They may even bring in mail and water plants if asked

Pros

- Animal in familiar environment and may feel more relaxed
- No delivery and pickup hassles
- Can possibly get papers collected and plants watered, property watched

Cons

- Pet may run away or not let the feeder near it to check on its health
- If animal is sick or hurt, it may disappear and not get the help  it needs
- Other animals may eat its food if it is left outside
- Person feeding the animal needs to be trustworthy
- Animal may be lonely or lacking affection

Tips on helping your pet to relax when in a boarding situation or if left at home while you are away

- Use a Bach Flower remedy mix of Aspen, Mimulus, Walnut, Rescue Remedy
- Ask the cattery or kennel or pet minder to put it in the food, water and on the fur 4 times a day if necessary, less if not so stressed
- Take familiar bedding or toys that smell of home
- Take some special food treats


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