The basic rule is simple: Ask. Prepare. Be flexible. And, of course, get your pre-trip pet checkup from the great staff at Nor Cal Vet.
Before bringing your dog or cat, and especially before bringing an exotic pet, ask your hosts. If they say no, don’t be offended, they certainly have good reasons — someone in their family is allergic or their house can’t be made pet safe. Where service animals are concerned, you’ll rarely find anyone who isn’t accommodating but, if they aren’t, do you really want to be hanging out with those clowns?
When your pet goes along for the ride, have a carrier. Most pets get used to them very easily and they provide a measure of security — a place they recognize — which will soothe the strangeness of their new surroundings. By the way, offering to bring some extra sheets to over furniture isn’t all for the hosts, your pet may find the smell of home very comforting.
Socializing your pets before travel (preferably when very young) make everything easier. Pets, like humans, enjoy new friends though, like humans, you never know how one animal will react to another. No one wants to think the worst, but wise travelers always have a back-up plan, a nearby hotel or boarding facility, if things don’t go well.
When you arrive, you may need to introduce your dog to the hosts’ dog. Treat it like a presidential summit — meet on neutral ground, perhaps a park, outdoors (off the hosts’ property) whenever possible. Keep both dogs leashed, let them approach slowly, express your friendliness to the other dog to show good faith. Where cats are concerned, this is likely not a big deal, cats are masters at ignoring each other. When cat meets dog, take it doubly slow, let them see each other through a barrier. Cats generally run form excitable dogs and dogs generally chase fast cats like they chase fast cars, so, good luck with that!
Likewise, cats will probably share the litterbox without any assistance, but dogs will probably need some guidance in this activity.
Where “exotic” pets are concerned, this visit could be a great learning experience for youngsters. Just remember, the pets you know to be perfectly harmless could be nightmare-inspiring for others.
When you get home, remember that they don’t understand the “return” part of “return trip”. They have another jolt of strangeness and it may take them a while to get used to being home again.
And, regardless of whether you are in town for the weekend or a lifetime resident, choose Nor Cal Vet. Like human healthcare, pet care is advancing. Nor Cal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital will always provide the best care available in modern veterinary medicine.