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How To Prepare For Vacation When You Have A Pet

How To Prepare For Vacation When You Have A Pet

Preparing for a trip out of town is simple enough when you live on your own. Things like setting the thermostat and packing the belongings you need for your travels are relatively easy tasks to complete. However, when you’ve chosen to be a pet parent, your vacation preparation gets a bit more complicated.

From identifying your pet’s unique needs to addressing each need with an effective solution, preparing your pets for your vacation is often times more difficult than preparing yourself for your vacation. If you’re a new pet owner embarking on your first tip out of town while leaving your pet at home, there are several simple steps you should take to make sure your pet will be well taken care of while you’re away.

There will be times that you can take your pet with you, but there will be other times that you cannot. If you’re not sure whether or not you should bring your pet with you, The Humane Society has an excellent guide with tips to help you.

If you’ve determined that your pet will not be going with you on your trip, check out this list of tips on what you should do to prepare your pet for your time away.

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1. Chat with your vet about your pet’s needs

Depending on the type of pet you have, its specific breed and its unique personality, your pet’s needs will vary while you’re away. If you’re yet to leave your pet alone, check in with your vet before your trip to determine what preparations you should make. For cats, you usually won’t need much more than a pet sitter who stops by to check food and water and maybe even change out the litter box. For dogs, things can get a bit more complicated.

If you have a dog whose breed needs high maintenance by nature or simply has a personality that requires more attention, your vet might recommend looking into your options for leaving your pet with a friend or family member, or even leaving your pet at a boarding establishment during your trip.

Ask around to see if your friends know of a boarding service they might be recommend. If your initial efforts to find a boarding service through friends and family fails, check out Rover.com to search boarding services in your area.

2. Enlist help

Even if you and your vet determine that your pet is pretty low maintenance, it will still be best to arrange for someone to come in and check on your pet while you’re away. It might be tempting to leave a low maintenance pet like a cat alone with a large bowl of food and water while you’re away, but your pet will appreciate having someone stop by and make sure he or she is doing alright.

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Ask around to see if a trusted friends or family member might be able to stop by a handful of times while you’re away. If none of your friends or family members are available to care for your pet while you’re away, look into your options for hiring a professional pet sitter. There are online services that can match you with affordable options for pet sitters in your area.

Before you leave, be sure to provide your pet sitter with detailed instructions about your pet’s care.

3. Automate food and water bowls

If you’re able to leave your pet at home with arrangements for a pet sitter to stop by on occasion, it might be difficult to know exactly when your sitter will be stopping by to give your pet food and water. This can be a bit of a problem given that most pets are creatures of habit. According to the experts at CC Animal Clinic, it’s important to keep your pet’s food on a consistent schedule while you’re away. The best way to do this is to set a feeder that feeds your animal at a given time each day, regardless of time your sitter is able to stop by and check on your pet.

Petsmart and PetCo offer a lot of great options for automated pet feeders. Before you set the feeder, be sure to check feeding guidelines for your pet to make sure you’re not over or underfeeding your pet. My Sweet Dogs offers up a solid feeding guide for dogs. CatInfo.org provides a great guide for cat owners.

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4.Clean up

The pet experts at Canidae recommend removing “temptations” that might encourage bad behavior in your pet while you’re away. For example, leaving shoes out for dogs to chew on might leave you with an unpleasant surprise when you get home. Or leaving a pile of clothing out while you’re away might tempt your cats to lay on and shed all over them while you’re gone.

Before you leave for your trip, be sure to pick up around your home. Focus on stowing away anything that your pet has a proven track record of getting into.

5. Leave a comfy bed or blanket out

One of the most important things to remember when you leave your pet home alone is that he or she might get a little lonely. One way you can help your pet feel a little more comfortable while you’re away is to leave a comfy bed or blanket out.

You could leave this bed or blanket in a nice sunny spot by a window to allow your pet to enjoy a view of the outside and a little sun while he or she waits for you to get home. Some pet experts even recommend heating up a cloth rice bag and placing it in the bed or blanket during colder months so that your pet has a warm and comforting spot to hang out while you’re away. You could even leave it in your sitter’s instructions to rewarm the rice bag and place it back in your pet’s spot again when they come by.

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Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your first time leaving your pet alone while you leave town. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below!

 

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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