They don’t want to part with it, even for a week. The bond that binds a master to his animal is sometimes so strong that it seems inconceivable to be far from each other, especially during the summer holidays. But taking Boby the dog, Grizou the cat, Titi the rabbit or Coco the parrot in your suitcases requires some compromises. And this is what the readers of 20 minutes who told us about the special moments they share with their animals during the summer break.
“Travel is a great source of stress”
Before you can enjoy the stay with your little animal(s), you have to go through the “travel” box. Our readers have banned air travel and many are opting for the car. When Myriam takes her 4-year-old cat on the road, she “buys her calming pipettes if she is not relaxed”, explains her owner. “Travel is a great source of stress,” says Nicolas, who favors the train, which is faster, for his rabbit Auguste. Veterinarian Marc Veilly, spokesperson for the campaign they leave with us from Mars Petcare, confirms that the journey can be anxiety-provoking. He therefore advises to make the animal travel “in the back of the car”, either “attached to a harness hooked to the seat belt for a dog or cat”, or in “a transport box to which it is accustomed “.
But that’s not all: the veterinarian recommends “not to make your animal travel with an empty stomach, but not to feed it too much either”, in order to avoid vomiting. He also specifies that a vet “can prescribe antinauseants”. “If there is no air conditioning in the car, you have to open the windows, not too much, so that the animal does not get an ear infection. And you have to remember to stop every 2 hours, so that the dog can hydrate, stretch its pasta and do its business”. And we don’t forget the golden rule: never leave an animal in the car. “In the passenger compartment, the temperature can rise by 1°C per minute”.
“If the campsite does not accept dogs, we find another one”
In terms of accommodation, our readers know how to organize themselves. “If the campsite doesn’t accept dogs, we find another one, just like the restaurants,” explains Angélique, who has two. Same requirement for Amandine: “We rent houses that accept animals, with an enclosed garden and freezer for her food,” explains Ighlander’s mistress. Precisely for meals, Marc Veilly stresses that it is important not to “change the eating habits of the animal” on vacation.
Animals cling to things that are familiar to them. This is surely the reason why Auguste – remember, Nicolas’ rabbit – “does not leave his cage when he is allowed to be free in the living room of the accommodation”. Hence the need to let them take their marks. “Animals need time to acclimatize. Especially cats, which are territorial animals,” according to the specialist. When arriving in his rental house with a garden, it is important to “leave the cat attached to a large leash for the first two days, so that he can mark his territory”.
“We know he’s going to love the hike”
And if it is possible to follow his masters to the holiday home, why not push further and participate in the activities? If Stella’s dog has the right to a “scooter ride”, well installed in a hanging basket, Vanessa’s doggie has the privilege of going on “hikes in Auvergne and the Pyrenees” with her adoptive parents, “in places authorized for dogs. Still in the mountains, Manon can even count on Sir, her cane corso, to “look for mushroom spots”.
More complicated for dogs, on the other hand, to be able to poke a muzzle in the ocean. “Few beaches accept them in the middle of summer. We are waiting for September to go to the seaside with them,” confides Marie-Line. Yet Océane, she always finds a beach “at suitable times” for Jeny. But be careful, because if your companion has the chance to do the foufou in the water, you must “rinse it well with fresh water and clean the inside of its pads” as soon as it comes out, “to remove the salt and sand, which are irritating”, according to Marc Veilly. And no need to shampoo it! Finally, beware of sunstroke. For this, “we avoid taking the animals out at the hottest hours and we protect them from the sun”. Like the whole family.
And paper level?
If you plan to take your pet with you on vacation, make sure you have read the following information. First of all, you must have your dog identified, either by microchip or by tattoo. This can be of immense help to you if you lose it, since its identification will be entered in the national file, to which veterinarians, firefighters and town halls have access.
No vaccine is compulsory, except for dogs, cats and ferrets that cross the border. In this case, they will have to be vaccinated against rabies. You should also know that a vaccine will only be valid for 21 days after the date of injection. Meeting the two previous criteria, your animal will hold its European passport.
The veterinarian Marc Veilly invites you to contact the consulate of the country where you plan to go in order to find out the conditions for entry of an animal into the territory, or to consult the AniVetVoyage site. For example, “some countries require health certificates”. Finally, in the event of loss of your animal, Marc Veilly advises to contact I-CAD (National File for the Identification of Domestic Carnivores), to notify the nearest pounds and veterinarians, to make a declaration of loss to the police station and to place a poster at the merchants.