How do you prepare your cat or dog for their visit to the kennels (or, as we like to say, pet hotel!) over the festive season?
Who better to ask than RSPCA companion behaviour animal and welfare expert Alice Potter...
1. Will your pet be happy here?
Always visit the kennel or cattery beforehand – this is your chance to ask all your questions, look at where your cat or dog will be staying, check how often they'll be exercised and how much interaction they'll have with the carers. If the place doesn't come up to scratch, if it's a bit grubby or generally neglected, then look elsewhere – you don't want to spend all Christmas worrying about your pet. Ask your vet for recommendations, or find out what boarding's available in your area at findpetboarding.com
2. Help your cat or dog feel at home
Because cats and dogs respond so well to scent, leave your pet with something that smells familiar, like a T-shirt or an old (Christmas!) jumper of yours. You could also take their usual pet bed with them to provide a reassuring scent. As they say, familiarity breeds... content!
3. Consider a pet-sitter
If your cat or dog is particularly nervous or anxious, then having family or friends look after them in your own home might be a good bet. There are also lots of pet-sitter sites – check out homesitters.co.uk or borrowmydoggy.com for dog-and-cat-friendly carers in your area. Make sure you leave the pet-sitter with all the info they need to look after your pet – their likes, dislikes, whether or not your dog can be let off the lead, where your cat likes to sleep, and what to feed them and when.
And finally, always make sure that the kennel or pet-sitter you choose is properly insured before leaving your furry friend in their care.
For more advice on looking after your cat or dog, visit the RSPCA website.
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