Tips to help your furry friends enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday
With New Zealand in Orange and the borders now open to a range of holiday hotspots around the globe, Kiwis will no doubt be spending less time at home as we look to head away for those long-anticipated holidays.
These changes can be confusing and stressful for our pets. Fortunately, there are lots of steps we can take to help our furry friends seamlessly adjust.
First things first, introduce changes slowly
Whether you’re escaping your own personal sanctuary or inviting guests over, remember that while we’ve been in various stages of lockdown, your pet has been right there with you – and they’ve likely gotten used to their ‘new normal’.
Our pets often find comfort in things that look and smell familiar, so when having visitors over, don’t force them to come out when guests are around. It may be a good idea to keep a safe place for your pet to retreat and ask your guests to let your furry friends come to them, instead of approaching themselves.
If you’re headed somewhere new with your pets, take something familiar to them, such as a blanket or toy, to help them find comfort in new locations.
Try and travel where your pet is safe and welcome
When planning a holiday, consider options where you can take your pets with you. For example, there are many pet friendly accommodation spots, cafes, and walks around New Zealand.
If you are taking your dog on holiday, remember not to leave them in the car alone. Even leaving the window down slightly or ‘just popping in quickly’ can be dangerous for dogs, because they can’t regulate their body temperate through sweat like humans do.
Separation anxiety is common in dogs, and while cats can act like snobs, they can experience separation anxiety and do miss their human companions too.
If you aren’t able to take your pet away with you, you'll need to get a pet-sitter or arrange a kennel. But before you leave them for days or weeks on end, try working them up to longer periods of separation. This way, when you do leave them, they’re ready for it and know you’re coming back!
Prepare for the unexpected
Our furry friends love getting into mischief and accidents happen, so it’s always best to have an emergency plan – have your pet’s vet number saved in your phone and be aware of their opening hours.
Vet care can be expensive, so you may face hard decisions about what treatment you can afford which can cause added strain or financial stress.
Taking out pet insurance can help take the pressure off as you'll be able to claim back the bulk of the cost if the treatment is covered by your pet insurance policy.
With an estimated two million pets in New Zealand, it’s staggering that 95% of them are uninsured. The past couple of years have been really challenging for many of us, and our furry friends have been there to support us through it all.