Your Pet’s Vacation
By Kaitlin Evaston
With the vacation season only a few months away, many people are already starting to make plans for their pets too. There are many misconceptions about pets when they stay at a Pet Resort as it is called here at Neffsville.
A Pet Resort is not a typical kennel environment, it is a vacation for your pet while you’re on vacation. More and more “kennels” are switching to this type of lodging for pets simply because it’s what pet owners want.
Pet owners want to know that while they’re away having fun in the sun, their dog is still getting the attention and love they deserve. However, it can be a very difficult thing to leave your pet behind at a lodging facility. I know the first time I left my dog for lodging, I cried the entire way home.
The truth of the matter is that we probably miss them a whole lot more than they actually miss us. Here are a few myths to think about before you leave your furry family member at the resort:
Myth: My dog/cat won’t eat while I’m gone.
Truth: While this may happen in some cases, most of the time the staff taking care of your pet will be very proactive in getting your pet to eat something. I’ve seen our pet resort staff try all different ways of getting a pet to eat including feeding special wet food or even putting some shredded cheese on top of their food to entice them. When you drop off your pet at any resort, be sure to let them know that if Fido won’t eat his food, they can feel free to try anything to get him to eat.
However, most pets do just fine. Their eating habits may change and that may cause them to eat less than normal. Be sure to let the staff know if your dog has any special dietary needs or special feeding instructions such as allowing them to have their food bowl filled at all times. Don’t be afraid to let the lodging staff know. It’s their job to keep your pet’s belly full and comfortable during their stay.
Myth: My pet will be uncomfortable in a strange place.
Truth: Now this is not a completely false statement. Some animals simply do not do well in unfamiliar situations. You know your pet best and if you have a cat that is unsocial and unfriendly or a dog that is extremely scared of other dogs, understand that a lodging facility may not be the best place for them while you are away. These pets may benefit from a personal pet sitter who can come into their environment and take care of them. However, most pets adjust just fine and although it can be a strange place, they can still feel extremely comfortable in a lodging facility.
Myth: My pet will miss me too much and become depressed.
Truth: The first time I ever dropped my dog off at a lodging facility, a girl walked in, greeted him, and asked him if he wanted to go outside and play. He followed that girl right out into the fenced-in yard without so much as a goodbye to me. He didn’t do it because he didn’t love me, he just wanted to play. He had a great stay and when I came to pick him up, I was ten times more excited to see him than he was to see me.
Your pet loves you, you know that and everyone around you knows that, but a few days without you will not send them spinning into a sudden depression. As long as you find a facility with great staff members who will give your pet plenty of attention, your pet will enjoy their vacation as much as you enjoy yours. Having said that, they will miss you and I’m sure they will be more than happy to see you as soon as you come to pick them up.
In summary, sending your furry best friend to a lodging facility can be extremely emotional. Do your research and find a facility that works for both you and your dog. Ask for a tour of the facility and know the right questions to ask such as; “Do you have any outdoor space for my dog to play?” and “Do you have a veterinarian on staff in the case of an emergency?” Don’t be afraid to put them on the spot, you should always feel comfortable before leaving your pet with someone.
If it doesn’t feel right, look elsewhere. Know that although your pet will miss you while you’re gone and will be happy when you get home, they will be fine on their mini vacation. Be sure that your pet is able to adapt to a strange place and will not be overly stressed out in a different situation for the short time you’re away. If you have a pet that is easily stressed or scared of other dogs, it may be best for you to consult your veterinarian on how to approach finding a place for your pet.
Start preparing for your summer vacation now, space may be running low at your local pet lodging facilities! To contact Neffsville Veterinary Clinic’s Pet Resort and Lodging facilities, please call 717-569-5381 to speak to someone about rates and availability. Thanks for tuning in for this week’s Myth Monday, see you next time!