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Going on holiday? Here’s your small pet prep guide from Avenues Vets!

May 21, 2024

So, you’re about to embark on that long-awaited holiday, but what about your furry friends left behind? Don’t fret; Avenues Vets have got you covered with a prep guide so thorough that your small animal(s) will be in safe paws!

Whether it’s guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, fancy rats, or pet mice holding down the fort, there are a few things you can do before you go to ensure their comfort and care. From summer-proofing their digs to briefing the pet sitter, here’s your ultimate small pet pre-holiday check list from our Glasgow team.

Book a pre-holiday check-up

3 things you can prepare before you go away:

  1. Summer Care: If it’s going to be warm, move your pet’s hutch/cage to a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight. Protect it with flyscreens or netting to keep mozzies & flies away.
  2. Pre-holiday Checkup: Schedule a check-up for health, teeth and nails before your trip with Avenues Vets and let our team know who will be in charge of your pet’s care while you’re away.
  3. Boredom Busters: Ensure your guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, fancy rat or pet mouse has plenty to keep them entertained. Choose enriching toys like treat balls, tunnels, foraging trays and digging boxes. For guinea pigs, avoid items that require climbing to avoid injury.

4 things you should provide your small animal pet sitter with:

  1. Your Pet’s Housing: If your sitter is caring for your pet at their house, have them take your pet’s cage or at least their bedding as small pets like familiarity.
  2. Food & Water Bowls/Bottles: Provide enough for the length of your trip and spares for cleaning-out days.
  3. Medication: Provide any medication and instructions on how to administer it.
  4. Vet Information: Include the address & phone number and your vet’s name if you see the same one regularly.

5 things you want your pet sitter to take care of:

  1. Routine: Document your pet’s daily routine including feeding, exercise, grooming and essential cleaning tasks such as daily poop & dirty bedding removal. Let your holiday sitter know when your pet is most active and when they like to sleep. Limiting changes to your pet’s routine will help to reduce any potential stress they may feel when you’re away.
  2. Nutrition & Hydration: Stock up on food and create a meal plan for your pet sitter, including treats, to maintain your pet’s health & happiness. Water should be changed daily and water bottles checked for blockages. If you have any questions about small pet nutrition, our Glasgow team are happy to help – call us on 0141 643 0404.
  3. Cleaning: Cleanliness should be maintained by replacing bedding and removing faeces daily, and conducting weekly hutch/cage cleaning sessions to prevent health issues. If your guinea pig sometimes needs their bottom cleaning, be sure to demonstrate this too.
  4. Gentle Handling & Separation: Instruct your pet sitter on proper handling techniques to prevent falls and ensure safety by keeping your pet close to their chest or lap. Also, if you have unneutered girls and boys, ensure your pet sitter knows to keep them apart!
  5. Health Awareness: Educate your pet sitter on signs of common guinea pig illnesses like flystrike, loss of appetite, and bacterial pneumonia. Emphasise the importance of prompt veterinary care if symptoms arise. If you would like advice on any of these, just ask our team.

So that’s it, your ultimate guide to pre-holiday planning that should ensure your Lanarkshire small animal pet sitter is well informed and your pet has everything they need for a trouble-free time.

Any questions, we’re always here to help! Before you go, remember to book a visit to our Glasgow vet practice to ensure your guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, fancy rat or pet mouse is in tip top condition.

Book a pre-holiday small pet check

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