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What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos' started by deeandcat, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. deeandcat

    deeandcat Member

    My family and I will travel out of town for two weeks in the summer and I'm really worried about what to do with Shadow, our leo. I don't really want to board her at the vet and don't trust a relative to watch her. I do have a friend that would take her into her home, but have reservations about how Shadow would adjust. So, I REALLY need some good advice, please!

    We lost our first leo, Barney. He only was with us for 3 months but never seemed to adjust. He had been at the pet store for 1.5 years. And since that loss, I am afraid our two week "absence" from her will be detrimental. I'm even considering taking her with us!

    (We live on a small pond and a few years ago a brown duckling took up with us. Everytime she would see us outside, she would come running up and would actually peck my feet to feed her. Well, our Ducky disappeared when we went on our usual two-week summer vacation. A neighbor dog-sat for us and was comfortable feeding Ducky as well but said she disappeared a few days after we left and never came back. Either something got her or she flew off thinking we had abandoned her.)

    So now you have some background on my paranoia. (Can you tell I'm a worrier?) I just don't want us to jeapardize the health and well being of our Shadow. See, here it is February, I'm already stressing about vacation in June!

    Shadow has grown by leaps and bounds considering she had a broken arm when we first got her at the end of November. (I have her and late-Barney's pictures posted on the HC site). When we got Shadow around 4-5 months old she only weighed 13 grams. Now she's weighing in at 54 grams! (And we can now confirm she is a she, like we thought all along).

    The vet said she's a Tangerine Fire, but I've seen other names, too, Super Hypo Tangerine, etc. What's your take on her? She still has the bands on her back but they are fading away.

    Anyway, enough rambling for one night. Thanks for the vacation advice, it's greatly appreciated!
     

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  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    This is always an issue with reptiles owners. The main thing is ensuring a water supply. It's not a huge deal for a reptile to go without food for two weeks. Providing they have a good fat storage already in place. Most reptiles in the herp industry are overfed anyway.
    You could hook up a dripper for water. I've been wanting to make a time released cricket container sometime. Shouldn't be that hard. Just a container with a sprinkler timer installed on that opens for a designated time during the day. Some crickets would find there way through the hole.
    It's not an easy solution but one I need to work on myself before summer comes.
    A relative is still the best solution though.
     
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    Yup, taking her to a friends house will be just fine. You will probably be more stressed out than her!

    I'm probably paying a friend to spend a week living in my house. The animal content has drastically risen since the last time. 3 demanding cats and 14 amphibians with water needs!
     
  5. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    Never thought about using that to feed crickets, Kriminaal, pretty good idea there, bet you could market that... Water, water can definitly be a problem, even with a dropper the water can still get a bit fouled up, from what i've heard leos arn't as bad aboout it as some other reptile's, but i know my skink is always tracking something into his water dish, maybe try incorporating a water filter into one of those small cat water dishes with a resovoir on top. but like kriminaal said, its usualy best to get someone to look in on them. I have an entire paper printed up about the short term care of all my animals, what to watch out for, feeding schedule, water changes, the works.
     
  6. MRHickey

    MRHickey Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    We have a friend that watches our critters when we go out of town. Just type up basic care essentials and give them to the person watching the animals.
     
  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    They already make one and I have one for my cats!
     
  8. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    What if you started now to get her accustomed to the friend? have the friend come over and hold her and as long as that doesn't seem to be a problem, start moving her tank to different rooms. Move it, give her time to adjust and then maybe an extra week or so and then move it again. The amount of time it takes her to adjust should be lessened each time, and you can also have the friend come over to help feed. That way by the time you have to leave, new surroundings shouldn't be a big deal and she should be used to the friend as well.
     
  9. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    All great ideas, what I do is I type up a very short (keep it simple) list of what they need, like this:
    A.M.- Make sure lights come on, check water, refill meal worm dish
    P.M.- Offer as many crickets as she will eat in "X" amount of time.

    Incase of emergency:
    Call me, 555-5309
    Call our vet, Dr. John 555-1889
    Login in to www.herpcenter.com, I set up an emergency account incase anything seems 'off' or you have questions, >login details here<

    Also a complete guide to gecko care can be found here: www.herpcenter.com > caresheets > leopard geckos

    *note, the people on the site are going to ask you her temperatures in the cage on both side, substrate, how much she has eaten, when she last pooped, it helps to list all of this when asking the questions.
     
  10. RedLocks

    RedLocks Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    She is beautiful!! Good luck with your vacation...I had to go on an emergency trip shortly after we got Matilda (leo) and Domino (king snake)....LUCKILY our friend has a boa and is comfortable dealing with both of them, and all the other creatures AND was able to just come stay in our house so we didn't have to move anyone. Hopefully we can make that work out for us in the future!! Moving them would be stressful..but that idea of gradually getting them used to it is a good one. Probably more stressful on us than them in the end....Good luck!
     
  11. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    I have boarded animals,, let me tell you it is not cheap, lol. I had Oscar boarded a while ago just because I needed a break from him, lol, and to also see if it was a place I would want to board him if I ever had an emergency and had to leave him somewhere.

    Find a herp vet and board her there, I cant imagine a leopard gecko being much more than 10 bucks a day.
    Oh by t he way Oscar is my huge male sulcata tortoise, and overall I think he did just fine, lol. All the iguanas I have had boarded have done great too, but then again I have an awesome team of vets.
     
  12. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    We have an elderly dog, as well as the four lizards, one snake, tank of 'manders, a cat and a fish. So if we go out of town for more than about 36 hours, I try to get a live-in sitter. I have been lucky so far -- one of the techs at our vet's office has been available. If she is ever unavailable, I am not sure what I would do! Reschedule the trip, possibly!
     
  13. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    The beauty of reptiles is that they don't take much, and aren't generally going to be upset without human interaction. If you're only going to be gone a week or so, simply having a friend come by once a day - or less in some cases - to make sure they have food and water and that the lights aren't blown is usually good enough. Of course if they're only going to drop by for that, it's best to have a light timer to make sure they get their proper day/night cycle.

    Then I'd just prepare everything and leave easy instructions. Give the iguana one bag of this food I've pre-cut for him, and fresh water. That sort of thing. Planning makes it super easy on both of you. The only trick is to find someone willing to work with a reptile, and clean out the cage, if necessary.
     
  14. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    In the past when going on 1 to 2 week vacations, I usually just used the method of excessive feeding for the week prior and topping off the animals water dishes. But then, I've only had a python and salcutta for the last few vacations. Always seemed to work out for them.

    But now with the skinks, bearded dragons, american bullfrogs, and dart frogs, I don't know what we will do. will probably just make a timed food release system. I've seen them made for fish food, in various sizes. One could probably be adopted to be used with crickets, fruit flys, or other foods.
     
  15. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    If you all lived closer to me, I'd pet sit for you. :D It's my buisness.
     
  16. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    One of my son's friends comes to stay at our house when we're gone. He's been caring for Gil for about 3 years now... Gil's comfortable enough with "Wooly" that it doesn't even phase him. About the only thing that might go a bit off is his potty habit.

    One thing you might think about doing is try to find a local student with a biology or zoology major to come to the house. Once Wooly is tired of helping me, that'll be my next step. I don't know WHY he'd ever get tired of it though... he made $100 for two days work when we went on our family vacation last month. He cared for Gil, my brother's beardie, and all mom's critters.
     
  17. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?


    You left a sulcata, with a topped off water dish and excessivlely fed him the week before, then left him for one to two weeks with no care givers to feed him? :confused: :eek: Please tell me I misunderstood your post.
     
  18. deeandcat

    deeandcat Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    Hi everyone:
    Thank you all for the valuable advice.:D
     

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  19. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    When he was a baby we brought him with us on vacation, which included a two week one (he spent most of the time soaking in the sun on the screened in porch of the beach house we rented :p). but for the past few years we've only been taking one week vacations so have been leaving him at home since he's gotten bigger.

    Handles it pretty well. He normally lives outside in summer and we usually go on vacation at the end of summer/beginning of fall. During the summer time, I'll grow grass in 2 standard cat litter pans (unused ones of course). Then when we leave I put him in his indoor winter pen with some of his regular home made food (for that day) and the patches of grass, which he eats while we're gone. So far theres always been some of the grass left when we returned.
     
  20. Corbin

    Corbin Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    You can make or buy a mealworm dish where the edges are raised so they cant get out fill that up s/he will eat when they please for the wated they sell little water things what are they called? you know where the bottle is upside down and comes out is the container empties, like for dogs and such. look in the reptile section of petsmart. and for the lighting just set them up on a five dollar light timer. Other than that have a friend check on them every so often.
     
  21. AnnaRW

    AnnaRW Elite Member

    Re: What to Do when Out of Town on Vacation?

    I noticed in the fish section of our petstore, there are timed fish feeders for vacations - I figure if I'm ever going to be gone and somebody can't come, I'll fill each one with mealworms and set that thing up. One of them had 12 containers and a 24 hr timer, so you could set it to click to the next slot at a certain time, and the mealworms would fall out into a dish below it.

    I too, however, have a friend lizard/turtle sit, and she does a great job.

    -Anna
     
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