Going on Holiday - What to do With Your Pets
You Have 3 Options...
- Find someone to house-sit and look after your pets
- Book your pets into a good kennel or cattery
- Take your pets with you
You've finally decided to take that long-overdue vacation. A holiday that's been in the works for the last few years; you've saved up, taken the time off work and you're ready to go! But, wait - what about the pets?
Many pet owners don't go on holiday for one simple reason - they can't bare the thought of leaving their pets behind. I know - I'm one of those people. We haven't been on holiday in 5 years. We have two cats - Jinx and Sassy, and they're our "babies".
The thought of leaving them for two weeks just about breaks my heart, but at the end of the day you need to ask yourself a question. What is more important here? Sacrificing your mental health and happiness for yet another few years - or, your pet going through a little discomfort while you're away for that short period?
Finding a House-Sitter
While choosing a stranger from the personal ads section to watch your house while you're away, may work when you don't have pets (keeping in mind that you'd do a full reference check first) - this probably isn't a very good idea if your pets aren't used to new people in the house.
Rather, ask family members or friends to house-sit and look after your pets if they're able to help out. Someone your pet(s) trust and are familiar with would be a good idea. There's no reason why they should be put out of place in their own home with a strange person while you're away.
Booking Your Pets into a Kennel or Cattery
If you're going away at an awkward time of the year and family members or friends can't help you out, you'll need to look at Option #2 - booking your pets into an animal boarding house.
It sounds scary, I know. Booking your "babies" into somewhere strange isn't the easiest thing to do. Luckily today, there are hundreds upon hundreds of good, quality and well run catteries and dog kennels.
Do a search on the Internet to find a list of places you like. Then, contact the facilities and book a date to view the premises. Keep these questions in mind when deciding on the perfect kennel or cattery for your pet:
- What are the owners like? Are they genuine and do they have a love and passion for animals and taking care of them? You definitely don't want to leave your pets with someone who is impatient or not too fond of pets. It's usually easy to spot this.
- Are the premises clean?
- What food do they provide the animals with, and how often a day?
- Do they let the pets out for walks?
- Do they bathe them?
- How big are the facilities where your pet will be kept?
- How many other animals are there going to be at the time?
- What vaccinations need to be done before your pet can be brought there?
- Booking information - how far in advance, costs, cancellation terms, etc.
- What can you pack with to remind your pet of home? (E.g. blankets, etc.)
- Get at least two references of people to call who've booked their pets into the facility.
- Make sure the owners have all your contact details, as well as your vets details to call just in case they need to contact you.
Taking Your Pets With You
If you simply can't bare the thought of leaving your pets with someone else, or booking them into a kennel or cattery; you can consider taking them on holiday with you!
Note: Take your dogs with you, NOT your cats. Cats wonder and they could get lost. Cats are home animals and they'd probably become slightly traumatized if you did this.
There are many self catering cabins and chalets that are specially set up for guests with dogs. When browsing the Internet for accommodation, look to see if the facility offers this option. It's a great way to get away from it all, and spend some time in a new place with your trusty companion.
A few things to consider...
- Take your dog's leash
- Find out how many other cabins or accommodation units are animal friendly
- Enquire about parks or open spaces in the area that you can take your dog to
- Don't forget to pack your dog's favourite blanket, food, bowls and chew toys.
A Final Note..
Whichever option you decide, make sure it is one that is best suited to you and your pet(s). Your pets have just as much right to feel safe and comfortable, as you have to relaxing and taking that long-overdue holiday.