How do you go on vacation?

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:19 pm

Last year when we went on vacation, we only had one piggy, and we didn't know then what we know now about piggies. I had left some orange slices/pellets and gave instructions to keep an eye on water and pellets, feed orange every couple days.

WELL, that won't fly this year. We have 3 piggies, and I know WAY more now then I did then!

I have a house sitter, she's VERY dependable and mature and responsible (more so then the 21 year old I had last year). She is used to animals, but 'big' animals like horses & goats. I know I can trust her with any task, so I am making a list. But I am so worried that something will happen while I am away, and she won't recognize the signs??

Does anyone else have these fears when they leave? It's like leaving my kids with a sitter, which, by the way, I NEVER do because I worry about them! :s

I have my mom on standby to bring veggies. Since we'll be leaving Wednesday morning (Sept 28th) and won't be home till October 8th, I know I can't buy enough veggies for that long, so my mom agreed to buy veggies and bring them by half way through our vacation.

I am just trying to get all my ducks in a row here, can anyone give me suggestions on what type of things to leave a list of? Other then the obvious about food/water/cleaning the cage etc.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:23 pm

I think you bought a Cavy Health Record Book, no? It has a nice list of signs of illness, what to do if your pig needs hand feeding, you put your vet's name on it, it includes your pigs' med info. This should be pretty helpful on the health side of it.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:27 pm

I always leave a letter to the vet indicating that they can treat my animals when they are with a sitter.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:32 pm

I went on a mini-vacation for two nights/three days with my husband this past week, and my mother-in-law watched Mo. I measured out pellets and fruit/veggies and bagged them so she knew what to give each day. I left an abundance of hay as well.

Although of course we know it's not ideal, your pigs will make it on basic pellets and hay, with minimal vegs/fruits until you get home. I second the idea to leave a letter with permission to treat your animals, and to have the vet number handy. I would verbally tell your house-sitter the signs of a URI, and leave the book as a reference.

ENJOY your vacation! We hate to think of it, but pigs survive in pet stores and humane societies for much longer than your vacation, so they'll be fine!

User avatar
Cindy in MI
Supporter in '05

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:37 pm

We went on vacation in June - the first in over 8 years. The dog went to the vet to be boarded and I had a cat sitter to come in twice a day to make sure Cardiac Kitty got his meds. The pig and hamsters went to a different pet sitter's house.

I made sure I left the name and number of the vet for each critter. Also who to contact after the regular vets' hours and how to contact them. I then contacted each vet and emergency vet, explained I was going on vacation and the critters would be under the care of a sitter. I made whatever financial arrangements needed to be made in order to cover emergency treatment. My regular vet was okay with billing me, the emergency vet wanted a credit card number on file. I also wrote a cover letter to leave with the sitters authorizing them to seek emergency medical treatment if necessary and phone numbers where I could be reached in case of an emergency.

Of course after it was all said and done, there were no problems or emergencies after jumping through all those hoops to make those arrangements. But I KNEW that if I hadn't been prepared and didn't cover all the bases somethiing would happen.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:58 pm

To make sure my pigs get the required amount of veggies and greens per day, I put a day's portion in a large gallon sized Ziploc, and label it (Monday, Tues, you get the picture).

To make sure they get the hay they need, I put the hay in lunch sized paper bags with the directions give one per day, or every other day, etc.

Definitely check with your vet to find their procedures. One of my vets is fine with my verbal okay, another needs a signed form as well.

Lynx's idea of having the Cavy Record on hand is a great one. Better yet, give her her own copy so she can read up on it before hand.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:19 am

THANKS GUYS! I don't have the record book yet, but am ordering one now.

I will call my vets tomorrow, although he has only seen one of my cats and one piggy, he's all I got up here. At least it's something.

Love the idea of bagging everything up. I wonder if it would keep all bagged together?

I am thinking of having her over for "training". LOL I am going over board here, I know she'll be just fine and so will the piggies, but the more she knows, and the more comfortable she is, the more comfortable I will be.

Thanks for all the tips! Keep 'em coming!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:20 am

Also, is it OK to give her this website and let her log on as me? Or should I get her signed up as herself?

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:20 am

I bagged romaine with sliced peppers, a few bags with baby carrots and a few with cherry tomatoes (uncut). All these things kept for six days. I put cilantro in the first three days but none after that because I thought it would get slimy. All the individual bags held up well. I told our sitter that if the veggies didn't look like SHE would want to eat them, not to give them. I knew that if worse came to worst, they could get by a day or two with just hay and pellets, but they didn't have to.

So I can vouch that lettuce and peppers ziplocked on Saturday were still good the following Friday!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:20 am

Yes, get a health book. They are great. We have bought 8 of them and we handed one out to a humane center, we gave one to our vet, and we gave a couple out to people who needed the info. It is a very good book. Our vet looked at it and said it was very well written and very pleased. Lynx, GREAT job, and thanks for alot of info at your finger tips.
We go on vacation in a couple of weeks and we are taking them with us. Just to many (24). We are going to camp and find this time up there we can spend alot of time with all of our kids. Last year we had our vet watch our first 7 for 2 days and it worked well for us. I mean first 5 piggies and we came back with 2 more.

Poor Baby Cuzko
My piggy made me give!

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:29 am

Although I haven't went on a vacation that long, I'll go on 3 day horse show trips with a friend. I'm lucky in the fact that living at home, my mom will take care of my critters. I get everything ready in advance. Veggies are all cut up and placed in bowls and all Mom has to do is put it in the bowl. Pellet bowl is full when I leave and only needs to be topped off. I fill water bottle and it gets topped off as needed.

Good luck and have fun on the vacation!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:36 am

CICSTEVE, happy to hear you found it so helpful -- and spread them around, too! I tried to organize it well so people could find the most important info quickly.


Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:07 pm

When I leave, I usually call my vet and tell her who is caring for my animals, give her carte blanche to treat and make arrangements to be billed if whoever cares for my animals ends up bringing them in.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:25 pm

I ordered the book. I guess I never have because I can get info here, and I did make a weight chart for all 3 piggies?? But it will be great having easy info right at our sitters finger tips.

I will put a call into the vet today. And will leave the vet info in the book.

I think I am going to have Jessica (our sitter) come over for a couple days of training. I know it's not hard, but seeing it done will make things easier.

I also tried a couple different ways of cleaning out the cage, the shop vac wasn't all that great. So by me trying and getting it figured out, it will make her life easier. Like I mixed all the bedding together. Usually I just take 50/50 and mix once it's IN the cage. So now all she has to do is scoop 10 scoops of 'bedding' into the cage.

Boy do I feel anal. I think about all the other piggies out there who live in homes that the owners don't even know better. They leave a bowl of food and fill the water bottles and leave. :s I am just glad I know now what I didn't know last year!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:54 pm

I am a list maker. I just can't help it. I list the daily responcibilities in a checklist format. That way everything gets done and checked off. For example:

Monday: Pick up paper

Water plants on porch

Check parrot's food and change water, give veggies in
bag labeled "Buster"

Change Piggies water, check food, give 2 cups fresh
Veggies, from bag labeled "Piggies"

And so on.

I was afraid the House sitter ( Mother - in -law ) would be overwhelmed, and she would forget things. Last time she sat we had 3 piggies, 3 parrots, 3 fire-bellied Toads, and a Leopard Gecko. We took our elderly rat with us, because she required meds 2 times a day, and the Cat and Dog were boarded. The list helped her imensely.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:22 pm

Thanks for the idea. Now I had made a list of "general stuff" like watering plants/heater use/cleaning etc (our house is for sale and could very well be viewed while we're gone). Then I made another list of "piggy responsibilities". I put the cats stuff in the general info, as they only need to be fed once a day.

Do you recommend I put everything together in a daily order? I am most worried about the piggy care. Although last year, I didn't know proper care, our sitter didn't do what I instructed either, and our piggy got scurvy a week or so after we got back from vacation. That was only 8 days last year, this year will be 11! *EEK* but we found a more responsible sitter too!

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:45 pm

Yes, I put mine in daily order with a check box in front of each task. I also labeled everything extensively. I keep the list and it makes it easier each year to go on vacation. I just pull out last year's list and make the necessary changes. I am anal that way too. I am a list maker, labeler, and compulsive file maker. There I am out of the "closet". Fell free to throw sticks and stones, but it gives me peace of mind. I wonder if there is an appropriate medication for what I have?


Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:49 pm

If you don't end up giving yourself a heart attack from all the frantic threads you have going on, we just might have to kill you. Talk about hysteria.

I think I've sprained my eyes from rolling them at you.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:00 pm

I am just glad you're being nice about it E. Makes me feel special. I would rather have you rolling your eyes at me then telling me to "EFF OFF". LOL

I am just trying to make sure my little piggies are well cared for.

Wheekers3, I too am a compulsive list maker/organizer. We just started school on Thursday, I had to go shopping 3 times to get enough 'stuff' to organize my school stuff. I just inherited my grandma china hutch, I don't have china, so I put my home school stuff in there. WELL, I had to buy all kinds of new baskets/files/trays. Now if I was only as compulsive about making my kids actually DO their work.. :(

User avatar

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:53 pm

When my husband and I go away, my mom stays at our house. She takes care of the dogs, the cat, and of course the pigs. The snakes are on their own.

I leave printed instructions for her as to how to care for each animal. I also leave a long list of emergency numbers for her, such as all 3 of my vets' cell numbers, the clinic number, and the emergency clinic number, and of course she knows both of our cell numbers.

Inevitably she does something I wish she wouldn't, like overfeeding the cat, or leaving the dogs loose in the house as opposed to shutting them in our bedroom when she leaves, or getting timothy hay all over the floor in the pig room, but everyone survives.

Post Reply
22 posts