How to Prepare Your Pet for Your Vacation

|| July 25, 2016

Summer is not quite over, and for many of us, that means making the most of this time off with vacations in the sunshine. Unfortunately, for your pet, this may mean a time of illness or injury if they are left in the care of a pet sitter or boarding facility. This is especially true for older pets. Dog_looking_out_window.jpg

Here’s how to ensure your pet has the best medical care possible while you’re away.

  • Leave detailed information about your pet’s health. This can be most easily done by having the last year’s worth of your pet’s medical records handy. Are they spayed/neutered? When was their last heartworm/tick test? Are they current on vaccinations? What medications are they on (name, dose, frequency and schedule, for how long, etc.)? What major illnesses or injuries (requiring hospitalization) has your pet previously suffered? Don’t assume your pet will only get sick when your regular veterinarian is open.  
  • Leave advanced directives for your pet. In the event that your pet’s heart or lungs stop functioning, do you wish for him or her to be resuscitated (have CPR administered)?
  • Leave financial information in case a costly hospitalization or surgery is necessary (i.e. credit card information and amount you would authorize in the event that you are not readily available, and it is emergent). This can always be kept in a sealed envelope to protect your privacy. Another option is to have a designated friend or family member that can provide payment for you until you return, or be pre-approved for Care Credit.
  • Most importantly, leave detailed contact information and BE AVAILABLE. If you’ll be traveling for an extended amount of time on an airplane or in a rural area or place without cell phone coverage, consider dedicating a friend or family member that you trust to make decisions in your place.

As an Emergency Veterinarian, it’s so common to have to aid a sick pet whose owners are on vacation and unreachable, and we are left trying to decide with a kennel worker or pet sitter what you would like (and can afford) for us to do for your pet. These simple steps can help avoid these difficult decisions and expedite great care for your pet when they’re in need!

If you have any further questions or need more clarification about any of these details, feel free to contact us – we would be happy to assist you in documenting these details so you can have a relaxing and stress-free vacation!

- Carrie Moore, DVM

WVRC - ER Veterinarian