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Julia’s Weekly Midsussex Times Column

Holiday season is almost upon us, but have you made arrangements for your pets too?

When it comes to booking holidays, I hope you are not like me – a ‘last minute Minnie’? I find it incredibly hard to make a decision, so often leave it too late. And when I do finally set it all up there is that sudden jolt – who will look after my beloved dog, Jazzy?

I really should get more organised. There are now plenty of options, and we do keep a list of these at reception at the Clinic!

The traditional route of kennels and catteries is an obvious one, but you do need to book well ahead, as especially good facilities always get booked up in advance. The one you choose should remind you at the point of booking about your pets’ vaccines being up-to-date, and kennels should insist on the Infectious Bronchitis (formerly known as Kennel Cough) protection being given at least 5 days before your holiday starts.

If they don’t, then you can assume they are not insisting on it with other pets, which means that your best friend’s health could be at risk.

There is also more interest in pet sitters, and many dog walkers and puppy crèche services around Sussex. You should check before booking that they are fully insured, have good references as dog lovers, and whether your dog will be mixing with others. Again – will these pets be fully vaccinated and safe around your pet?

More and more people are now taking their pet on holiday with them in the UK. I find the website Pets Welcome very useful for finding B&Bs and hotels that welcome well behaved dogs. This is a great solution, very straightforward, and perfect if you are going on a walking holiday, for example.

However, remember that there are some parts of the UK that have disease issues not often seen in Sussex. A good example is the tick-borne disease Lyme disease. This is easily prevented by applying a good tick repellent (not one that kills ticks after they bite). Ask at your vets for a recommendation if you are taking your pet to the New Forest, Lake District or Wales.

And remember, if you are visiting an urban centre and your pet’s regular vaccines are a little out of date, there is a significantly increased risk of parvovirus and other preventable infectious diseases, as there can be in very rural areas as well.

Next week I will look at taking your pet abroad with you, and how to prepare for that.

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