6 Reasons Pets Should be Home for the HolidaysPublished December 15, 2008
When you plan your holiday travel, you should consider boarding your pets at their favorite kennel. By the time you leave, either by car or airplane, your family will be stressed to the breaking point. Pets do not do well when you are tense or when they are in unfamiliar environments and will cause unnecessary complications for traveling, Six reasons holiday travel with pets is a poor idea If your pet could, it would advise you of the following: 1. Transporting pets by plane creates opportunities for escape, illness or death. Checking an animal in the cargo hold of an aircraft is especially risky. Car travel is less dangerous, but during holiday chaos, escape onto a highway is a serious concern. 2. When stressed, pets that ordinarily would not hurt a fly may nip at an unfamiliar child that's badgering it, or frighten Grandma by snapping at the turkey bones she tries to put in the garbage. 3. When confronted by new environments and situations, many pets become incontinent or develop diarrhea, causing everyone more stress. 4. Interstate travel with animals can be tricky, even by car. Frequent stops are necessary for dogs to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Regulations requiring health certificates, or forbidding transport of exotic animals, may apply for your travel. 5. Your pet is used to lying on the sofa. Your sister-in-law gasps when your cat hops on her white silk upholstery. Your cat choked on tinsel five years ago and had surgery to remove it, and now has its eyes on the tinsel on your in-laws' tree now. 6. A familiar kennel gives your pet a routine, which will be less stressful than never knowing what will happen next in a strange place. Three holiday boarding secrets Making the "no holiday travel" decision works best when you use these secrets to secure your favorite boarding arrangements for your pets. 1. Periodically board your dog or cat at one choice kennel so that you, your pet and the kennel have a relationship. 2. Make holidays reservations up to a year in advance, even if you're not sure about traveling. Most kennels allow cancellations without penalty up to two days before your planned stay. 3. Ask your kennel what shots and vaccinations your pet requires and how often. (If they don't require vaccination records, move on to another kennel.) Have your veterinarian's office fax a copy of your pet's vaccination records to the kennel as soon as you've made the reservation. Verify receipt of the records so that you can drop your pet without needing a last minute vaccination. Carol Frischmann writes about pets, nature, and science for national print and online publications. Three parrots and a Doberman pinscher edit Carol's work for accuracy. Her most recent book, "Attracting and Feeding Backyard Birds," is available through her website,www.thiswildlife.com or your favorite bookstore.