Whether you are planning a trip with your Yorkie or leaving your Yorkie at home, here are some vacation tips for the Yorkie owner.
Spring is here and school will soon be out, so vacation time is coming soon. We here at Yorkie Splash and Shine have already started our vacations, so my mind is in vacation mode. We have our vacations staggered so someone is always here to send out orders and take care of our furry family members. Since YSS is a family business, all of us coordinate to make sure someone is always home. At the moment, my father, John, is away on a trip to Africa to visit my sister. John is responsible for making and bottling our products and shipping out orders. So, it has already been a hectic week of adding his duties to my own.
Once John returns, another portion of the YSS family is heading out to vacation: Myself – Sarah, responsible for customer service, marketing, blogging, Facebook updates, and accounting; and my mother – Laquita, responsible for embroidery and purchasing. When we leave, there will be things that my father simply cannot do, like find his way around an embroidery machine.
Because of the business, we stagger our time away, but as my biennial vacation gets closer and closer, I have started thinking; what if we all decided we wanted to go on vacation together? Doesn’t every other family take vacations together? And, when they do, what about their pets? The two options are to take your Yorkie with you on vacation or to leave your Yorkie at home. Whichever you choose, here are some things to consider when you go on vacation.
Firstly, whether you are taking your Yorkie with you or not, be sure that your Yorkie has proper identification. A microchip is my preference, with an external ID tag as an additional back-up. ID tags are best for a lost Yorkie who is found by someone who would have quick access to your information in order to contact you. However, collars and ID tags can come off, so a microchip is an excellent permanent solution. Before leaving for your vacation, verify with your microchip servicing company that the information associated with your Yorkie’s microchip is up-to-date.
Leaving Your Yorkie at Home While on Vacation
Most people opt to leave their pets at home when going on vacation. Certainly this option would seem to be the most convenient and least stressful for everyone. If you have multiple pets, this would likely be the most reasonable option. If you are going on a trip and are leaving your pets at home, here are some choices for the care of your furry family members.
1. Kennel Boarding – There is likely a boarding facility in your area, and many veterinarians offer boarding services. You can start out by finding out how long you can board your pet, what the schedule is at the facility (walking, feeding, etc), the cost, and check out the facility to make sure the kennel is clean, safe, and properly staffed. Ask how small and large dogs are separated and make sure your Yorkie will be safe. Check references and speak with others who have used the kennel’s services. Also consider leaving your pet with a favorite toy or blanket and their food. The kennel may require proof of immunizations, so be sure to keep your Yorkie’s health records together and accessible in case the need arises.
2. At home with check-ins – If you have family or friends who live close by, another option would be to leave your pets at home and have a trustworthy friend or family member come by your home a couple of times a day to replenish food and water, take your Yorkie for a walk, and just check on the welfare of your Yorkie. Be sure to leave a list of your vet’s information and any relevant health information for the person who will be checking in on your Yorkie. You could also hire a pet sitter to come and perform those duties, just be sure to check references and if possible perform a background check before handing over your keys to a stranger. You can use a service like care.com to find a local pet sitter in your area.
3. In the care of another – Again, if you have a friend or family member close by, you could leave your pets in their care in their home. Consider bringing your Yorkie’s crate, favorite toys, blanket, etc and enough of their usual food for the stay. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to find a pet sitter who will take your Yorkie into their home. Be sure to leave a list of your vet’s information and any relevant health information for the person who will be caring for your Yorkie. You can use a service such as care.com to find someone in your local area. Be sure to do background checks, check references, and visit the home of the person who will be caring for your Yorkie to be sure the home is clean and safe and your Yorkie will be protected from larger pets.
Taking Your Yorkie with You on Vacation
Taking your Yorkie with you on your vacation can make the trip all the more exciting and can alleviate the worry you may have by leaving your Yorkie behind with someone else. We have taken Catherine with us on some weekend trips, but have never taken her with us on a trip that required a flight. Fortunately, if you do decide to take your Yorkie with you on a plane, because of their small size, you can keep your Yorkie with you in the cabin of the plane, which I would consider to be much safer and less stressful than the cargo area. Here are some tips for vacationing with your Yorkie.
1. Car travel – If you will be traveling by car, make sure you have proper restraining equipment in place for your Yorkie. No one expects to get into an accident, but if you do, you certainly don’t want your Yorkie to get hurt or be hurtled around the vehicle. Crate your Yorkie and have the crate secured to the seat of the car using a safety belt or another proven system. Before getting into the car for your trip, make sure your Yorkie has been walked and isn’t getting into the car with a full bladder or a full stomach. Motion sickness is common, especially with pets who aren’t used to a lot of car travel, so bring items to clean up any messes and extra blankets for the crate in case any are soiled. Have water available for your Yorkie, but not enough to get full, just enough to not be thirsty. Make periodic stops to walk for a little exercise and to go potty. Also, don’t leave your Yorkie in a vehicle alone.
2. Air travel – Contact the airline to be sure that your Yorkie will be allowed in the cabin of the plane, what sort of carrier is required, and if you need to have immunization verification or health certificates. Crate your Yorkie before heading into the airport. As with car travel, make sure your Yorkie has plenty of exercise before the trip and doesn’t have a full belly or bladder. Once you land, take your Yorkie for a walk as soon as possible, but being mindful of your surroundings and your Yorkie’s stress level.
3. At the hotel – Certainly, make sure that your accommodations are pet friendly. Find out the closest place to walk your Yorkie and rules regarding deposits before you book your hotel. Once you are there, leave your Yorkie in the crate in the hotel room until you get settled in. Once you have unpacked and things are in their place and everyone is comfortable, you can let your Yorkie explore the room. It is better to not let your Yorkie have the run of a room with so many unfamiliar scents and objects while there is a lot of hectic activity happening. Also, throughout your stay, be mindful when opening and closing the door so you Yorkie doesn’t escape or accidentally get hit with the door (many hotels use fire doors, which are very heavy and close on their own).
These are just some basic things to consider when planning your vacation. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with going on vacation as a Yorkie owner.