If you are like us and truly living the life of “No Kids, Will Travel” you’re a couple without children and spend your free time traveling. Well, no kids you can declare as dependants on your taxes that is. We (as our first post described) have a child, just one with four paws. Storm, our cat, is pretty easy to take care of and the biggest worry we have when we leave is making sure she is fed. We know that not all of our furry children are as convenient as a condo kitty, so we sat down with our local Veterinarian Dr. Brent Cook to ask him some questions about the best options for pets when you’re going to be away.
Dr. Cook says the most important thing is to make sure your pet is supervised either at home or in a kennel.
We know that for Storm taking her to a kennel would be one of the worst ideas ever. Once upon a time, we had her board with a friend who had two other cats and our dear friend was forced to put Storm in a bathroom for a most of her stay to keep her from terrorizing cats Mr. Petey and Jackson and tearing their furniture and ankles to shreds. We will admit, she was a little bitch, and we felt terrible. We decided it would be better for everyone if she just stayed home in her own safe space – and Dr. Cook agrees.
“Ideally it’s nice for a pet to stay in its own home, but that’s not always an option. But if there is any way to work that out that’s a much better environment,” Dr. Cook says.
If you are fortunate enough to have a pet that likes to travel and it’s an option – do it.
“If you have a small pet a dog that is under 20 pounds or a cat and can arrange it to go under the seat that’s ideal,” says Dr. Cook. “Generally the airlines that allow that only allow one pet in the cabin. So plan ahead and there is usually a fee.”
If you have a larger pet that needs to go in the cargo hold he said the number one question is whether to sedate them or not. Dr. Cook says unless your pet is in danger of hurting itself don’t sedate them; tragically sedation is the most common reason for pet deaths when placed as cargo. Pets can fall asleep awkward positions and suffocate.
If your pets travel well in a crate there shouldn’t be a problem. But Dr. Cook suggests you tape two days worth of food to the crate in case your pet gets diverted to the wrong airport; that way the crews will have something to feed your furry family member until you can be reunited.
If your pet has an aversion to the crate, we’ll address that in our next post. Dr. Cook has suggestions for getting your pet over fear of the crate and how to soothe a troubled tummy if they tend to toss their Scooby Snacks when they go for a ride.