MISSOULA — Veterinarians and pet boarding facilities are right in the middle of an extremely busy time and it's not just because of the heat.
We were told by workers at a number of pet boarding businesses in the Missoula area that reservations for the 4th of July have been sold out for weeks.
That's true at Cats On Broadway too, and that's where I paid a visit. They found that after being cooped up with their Fido and Fluffy for months, this holiday was a good chance for both to take a break from each other.
"Fourth of July actually filled up a few weeks ago. When restrictions started to be lifted, people really started booking things,” veterinarian Dr. Jenny Ault said. “Some people have started booking for Christmas and Thanksgiving, also."
It's not just boarding; they have been swamped over the past 15 months.
Dr. Ault says they have been so busy because, during the pandemic, more people decided to get pets and have focused on making sure their needs are met, from vaccinations to surgeries.
That has put stress on the system, for pet parents, and the staff.
"Things are slower. Having to talk to everybody on the phone, longer wait times, harder to get in. A lot of places are booked out several weeks,” Dr. Ault said. “If you have an emergency, it's really hard to get in."
Dr. Ault says it has been difficult to keep staff because of all the pressures.
She adds if you leave your pets at home while you go out of town, have a neighbor check on them, make sure they are still fed properly, and don't skip their medications.
This is also a good time to be reminded to make sure our pets stay hydrated and in a cool space. Don't leave them -- or kids -- in a car.