To some of us, our pets are our family members, individuals we love and care for, and always want around us.
But unlike their human counterparts, these pets are not able to follow us everywhere we go. We cannot get them to pack up their clothes and essentials and bundle them along on holidays with us.
This reality is a sad waste, to be honest, but it can also inspire some measure of worry. What do you do when you have to leave your pets at home, alone and without you there to care for them?
You can rest assured and enjoy your time away. There are many ways you can keep your pets safe during the holidays, and it’s up to you to decide on what works best.
Incorporating Your Pet
This sounds like stating the obvious since you are here, but you would be surprised at the number of overlooked issues when it comes to your pet and your holiday plans.
That said, you should consider all aspects when you need to leave home for the holidays. Include what it will be like for your pet at every juncture of planning for your holiday.
If you lock up all the doors tightly, will your pet be able to get around? If you leave the windows open so they can look at the scenery outside, people will also know that the house is empty. These are all things you need to consider in your planning.
Beware of Decorations
We all want to have beautiful decorations up during holiday time. However, Christmas decorations can be a hazard to your pets, especially when you are not around.
Electrical cords for lights may trip them up. Pine needles may choke your pets if ingested and ornaments may fall (or get knocked off) and injure your furry companion.
The easiest way to circumvent this is by leaving off the decorations while you are away. This means that you may want to come home earlier to set up the decorations if you plan to host guests during this time.
Remember, even the most well-behaved pet can get into trouble when left unattended. You must minimise health hazards to prevent unwanted accidents.
During the holidays, we are all caught up with enjoying the freedom that we have. This can translate to wanting our pets to enjoy this special time with us.
However, it may do your pet more harm than good to overdo the festivities. Pets need routine in their lives.
It works as more than a guarantee of good behaviour. Making sure that they maintain the routines that they are used to ensures stability.
Do not over-indulge your pets during this time. Exercise and walks still must be completed, and leftovers or table scraps should be kept to a minimum.
This is especially true if you are taking time to travel during the holidays. Ensure that your pets get the interaction and care they require even when you are not there to do it yourself.
Rope in Friends and Family
An ideal way to keep your pets safe during the holidays is by getting people you trust to take temporary custody of them.
You will feel more assured knowing your pets are with someone with whom they are familiar. Plus, it is easy to check in on them even when you are out and about.
However, this can be a challenging arrangement if the friend or family of choice is busy themselves during this time. Be sure that you are not overburdening whoever you decide on, as this can also affect your pet.
Employ a Pet Sitter
Having a pet sitter can mean different things based on your requirements and your budget. A pet sitter can drop in and check on your pets at regular intervals or go all the way and live in your house to care for your pets.
This choice is ideal as it can be as flexible as you want. You can also personally make sure that the pet sitter is the candidate you and your pets prefer for the job.
Keep in mind that pet sitters get very busy during these peak times and make prior bookings. They may also have other pets to care for, which may not mesh well with your own.
Getting a House Sitter
When you get a house sitter to maintain your place when you are away for the holidays, you should check that they are also able to help care for your pets.
This is a critical aspect to be sure of, as they may not be comfortable or capable of doing an excellent job in that department.
While you may be getting more value for money and killing two birds with one stone, be aware that your house sitter may not be experienced with proper pet care.
Having a house sitter be responsible for your pets means that they will be comfortable in their usual surroundings. But you also must be sure that your pets are okay with this new person in their space.
A Holiday of Their Own
Just because you are going on a holiday does not mean your pets cannot have a vacation of their own.
While leaving them at home may seem like a treat, pets need interaction. This is where a boarding facility can help.
These places are like hotels for pets but often come with the price tag to back it up. At the same time, some places are not as good as they try to seem, so be sure to do your homework.
What you can be sure of when you leave pets at a boarding house, though, is that they will never be alone during that time and get the chance to make new friends.