So you got a puppy during the pandemic? A kitten during Covid? Congratulations! Now that you have these adorable pets, certainly named proper Disney pet names, it's time to begin planning if you intend on leaving them home for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
With the potential for Disney-centric vacations in the coming years at either Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii (as it is currently open), or, of course, Walt Disney World, it'll be good to know that leaving your new family member behind will be less stressful with a few great tips. Planning early is the first tip!
I apologize as my senior cats are named Ricky and Lucy, not after Disney pet names; blasphemy, I know! I work for an animal hospital and this article will be reviewed by a veterinarian to be sure I am on point with all of Figaro's needs. Please add tips that you might have for our newcomers in the comment section below if you are also an experienced pet owner.
Tips for Nana's Basic Needs
After you have chosen the logistics of where your pet will stay (home, pet sitter, family member, boarding, kennel), the care and keeping of Nana will be the responsibility of someone other than you. And that person or place may unfortunately cancel as you get closer to your vacation, so please consider a backup plan in case your #1 caregiver drops out at the last minute. It happens.
Basic needs involve keeping everything out (safely) and/or having a list of everything to bring to Bolt's temporary home. Your list should include (with extras of everything) their food/water, keys to your home, medication, lovey, updated tag/microchip and registration, and very importantly, your contact information and your emergency contact information. A list of physical (including exercise schedule and allergies) and behavioral issues is also a consideration, and let's throw in a new toy and/or an article of clothing that smells like you for distraction and stress reduction!
Nala and Simba's Stress-free Environment
If you choose to leave your new family member home, setting up the environment takes planning. As my cats aged, I needed more monitoring of their food intake so I used small cameras aimed at their food bowls. I viewed it on my phone while at the parks, which eased my anxiety. I also purchased an automatic treat machine with a timer for once-a-day treats that I only use for vacation times. Leaving on a music source creates a soothing environment with, of course, Disney music loops playing softly in the background of my home.
Lilo and Stitch Will be Okay
It's okay to go on a vacation without them. Having a good communication plan will help ease your anxiety with whomever is taking care of your precious one. Have a conversation with the person caring for your pet prior to leaving about how and when you will communicate. You do not want to leave with assumptions or expectations that are not in step with that of your caretaker. Do you want pictures of Belle daily? Do you want text messages of Pluto hourly? Let them know so you are on the same page.
Enjoy your vacation; you deserve it. Gus and Jaq will love their new gifts from the Marketplace Co-Op you bought them at Disney Springs when you return home happy, refreshed and looking forward to those 6 a.m. walks again.
Good Luck! And enjoy your deserved vacation without guilt....but if you do change your mind, all of the information for bringing Perdita with you to Walt Disney World can be found on the The DIS.
Featured photo credit: Puppy by Jarrod Reed (Unsplash); Kitten by Tran Mau Tri Tam (Unsplash); Pluto by Craig Adderley (Pexels).