You’ve just called the travel agent, booked a great hotel, obtained a bargain airfare…and now you’ve started thinking about your pet.

When planning your vacation this summer, don’t forget about your pet. If you decide to include a pet in travel plans, consider the following:

• Will your hotel allow pets?
• Pack any medication your pet may require.
• Always keep your animal on a leash, whether you’re stopping along a roadside or at your final destination.
• Make sure current identification tags are attached to your pet’s collar.
• Take along a current photo of your pet in the event the pet becomes lost.
• Try not to vary your pet’s diet. If your pet requires special food, be sure to pack enough.
• If traveling by car, be sure your first aid kit contains some medical-emergency items for your pet. Your vet can suggest what to include.
• Carry an up-to-date certificate of vaccination, as well as your pet’s health certificate. If your pet has chronic medical problems, pack a copy of the medical history as a precaution.

If your vacation plans don’t include your pet, give some thought to various boarding alternatives. If you decide to leave your pet with a kennel (or vet), allow enough time to visit several alternatives.

Make a reservation for your pet’s stay, especially during peak summer vacation months. Don’t wait until the last moment, only to discover there’s no room at the inn.

When dropping off your pet, leave a few favorite toys or a blanket to provide a few reminders of home away from home.

A popular alternative to boarding is a pet/house sitter, who can provide loving care for your pet in its usual environment, as well as keeping an eye on the house.

Names of bonded, reputable pet sitters can be obtained from your vet, the Yellow Pages or the SPCA (651-9611).

As with any vacation, a little advance planning helps ensure a good time for you – and your pet.

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