Going to Tuscany: Are your pets coming?

Probably, they are not. The fact is, most Tuscany villas or apartments do not accept pets. Let alone hotels. If you are one of the many millions that want to travel to Tuscany to enjoy its sheer beauty and relaxed lifestyle, but own a pet, you might encounter some issues when trying to live the best time of your life with your furred children.

Yes, lets face it. To many (hopefully all) of us our pets are like children that will never fully grow up, and to leave them at home while we are having fun inTuscany, perhaps the best in our life, simply does not feel right, and almost completely takes away the enjoyment. On the other hand, we sometimes have to leave our beloved domestic animal friends at home. Especially when traveling overseas, or whenever catching a flight, it is even advisable you do not take your pets with you.

The reason is that your furred friends enjoy staying with you, but also love the safety of your home. Cats in particular can get really stressed out in a different environment. A vacation in Tuscany usually lasts one to two weeks. During this period your pets do not even have time to adjust to the new home, its smells, noises, and spaces. And when they are barely getting used to it, it already is time to go back. Even if you own a dog, things are not much better. Dogs have way less problems adapting to a new environment. Nevertheless, the worst you can do to your adorable barker is to set him in a cold airplane storage room for the entire trip to Tuscany and back. And this is also valid for cats or any other animal. You will have a lot of problems finding an airline that allows (only small) pets on board. Plus, it will cost you as much as a regular passenger. It is not long ago that a small carlin died of a heart attack due to the extremely low temperatures in the haul of a 747 to Indonesia.

For as much as I dearly love my pets and would love taking them wherever I go, I feel it is just not worth the risk. Plus, what really is important is that during your absence your pets get to stay with a caring person for a few hours every day. Sure it will not substitute you, but will avoid all emotional and practical issues a situation like this can carry.

The perfect solution I found is having a pet sitter. I used to rely on favors or paid time from relatives and neighbors, but that would just cover the basic food and safety necessities. With an automatic pet feeder and a Skype video call I have solved those issues at the touch of an i-phone from wherever on the globe. But that is not enough. A pet sitter gives my beloved house pets almost all the human touch I am able to give them. Walking dogs, petting cats, letting them play, reporting on strange behaviors, or running to the vet when needed are just a few services I get.

My pets get to know the sitter some days in advance, so they can get along well when the time of my departure comes. They feel as if someone from the family is at home. Prior to hiring a pet sitter I used to return home to find that my little furred babies had eaten just to get by and were extremely mopey. My cat once even developed a stress disorder, and that is when I decided to never leave them with just neighbors or friends and get a pet sitter. Now when I return home I find my pets all happy to see me and in great shape. I can finally take longer leaves and stopped worrying so much all the time. I used to make daily long distance calls to whomever was in charge of my pets at that time, asking routine questions to spot behaviors that would mean nothing to anyone other than me. Now my pet sitter is also an expert. He is the only one other than me that can spot whether something is wrong with my pets. Sure I spend some on pet sitting, but I save a lot on calls, worrying, and get much more enjoyment when traveling to Tuscany or wherever. With pet sitting everyone in my home is a happy puppy!

Matt writes for ThriftyTuscany.com, where you can find Tuscany apartments and villa rentals for weekly vacations.

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