Just this month, a Gilbert AZ "boarding kennel" came under investigation after 17 different pet owners were told that their pets had run away. After several days of searching the area for their pets, these owners uncovered a most devastating reality - their pets had actually perished while the care of this facility and their bodies were tossed haphazardly in a shed at the back of the property. The boarding facility owners are trying desperately to cover their tracks. But one thing remains clear... they lied to these pet owners to get their business and subsequently lied to keep their money. Be VERY careful when using boarding facilities... check their licenses, seek referrals, visit the property, and don't believe it if it sounds too good to be true.
Traveling Without Your Pet
Sometimes vacations are just not meant for our pets. In these cases there are two options.
In-home Pet Sitting
Your Home- A family member or friend can watch over your pet while you are away at your residence. This will keep your furry friend from having to leave the comfort of their own home. Pet sitters could also be hired to stay at your home while you are away.
Pet Sitter- Many pet sitters are available to watch your pet while you are away. Make sure to conduct thorough research and have a full tour of the pet sitter’s home before leaving your loved one. Online blogs are a great way to get an insight to the services offered.
** Make all sitters aware of your pet’s needs. Any medications, allergies, and special care instructions should be explained thoroughly.
Many businesses specialize in pet boarding.
Veterinarian Office- Your pet is already familiar with the staff at this location. Staff will have a record of your pet on file and will be able to assist if any health issues arise.
Pet Hotel - These are offered at pet stores throughout the country. These “hotels” serve as a boarding for your pet while away and offer food, water, and daily play time.
Luxury Pet Boarding- Luxury boarding for pets, also known as pet spas, offer a variety of amenities, such as steak dinners, private rooms, and pet massages. Your pooch can truly be pampered in these facilities while you are away. Also included are customized play packages and a variety of options to help meet your pet’s needs.
Traveling With Your Pet
Dog Bag To-Go
Preparation needs to be made for pets to go on trips. Make a to-go bag for your pet including necessary items. These items include but are not limited to:
- Water Dish
- Items to clean up after your pet
- First-aid kit
Back Seat - Don’t let your pet sit in the front seat. It puts them at risk of injury if the airbags deploy.
Safely Secured - Place your pet in a special seat, crate, or buckle them in. Some stores even sell pet seat belts. Make sure your dog is safely secured while traveling. This prevents them from distracting your driving and possible injury.
Keep Windows Rolled Up - Although pets love catching the breeze and smelling items outside, it is very dangerous to have the windows down. Debris from the road could fly by and hurt your pet. Glass, dirt, and rocks are just some of the hazardous items that could pose a threat if your dog is hanging out of the window.
In Cabin - If flying is the desired means of travel, place your pet in the cabin with you if possible. Most airlines require pets to meet weight restrictions and be securely fastened in a crate for the duration of the flight.
No Tranquilizers - Do NOT give your pet tranquilizers for flying. This can impact their breathing and cause severe health issues at high altitudes.
Just like humans, pets need breaks as well. Plan accordingly to allow breaks for stretching, play time, and bathroom use. It’s better to have breaks frequently than a pet to urinate in the car.
Lodging - Not many hotels allow pets. Be sure to verify pet policy before booking a room. If staying in an RV or with friends, be sure to arrange a sleeping area for your pet.
Restaurants - Some restaurants and shopping centers are pet friendly. These businesses allow pets and owners to eat outside on a patio. Be sure to locate a place you can take your pet. If you are not able to take your pet inside get food to go and take to a park or other facility. Never leave your pet unattended.
www.dogfriendly.com is a great tool for locating restaurants, lodging, parks, trails, and attractions that are pet friendly. The site even separates establishments by city and state. It is a great resource when planning a long trip.