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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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