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Going on Holiday - What to do With Your Pets

Updated on April 9, 2012
Jinx in the garden listening for something..
Jinx in the garden listening for something.. | Source

You Have 3 Options...

  1. Find someone to house-sit and look after your pets
  2. Book your pets into a good kennel or cattery
  3. 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.

Sassy peeking from behind the bushes
Sassy peeking from behind the bushes | Source

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Are the premises clean?
  3. What food do they provide the animals with, and how often a day?
  4. Do they let the pets out for walks?
  5. Do they bathe them?
  6. How big are the facilities where your pet will be kept?
  7. How many other animals are there going to be at the time?
  8. What vaccinations need to be done before your pet can be brought there?
  9. Booking information - how far in advance, costs, cancellation terms, etc.
  10. 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...

  1. Take your dog's leash
  2. Find out how many other cabins or accommodation units are animal friendly
  3. Enquire about parks or open spaces in the area that you can take your dog to
  4. 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.


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    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Mary615 - So good to meet a fellow animal lover who spoils their animals as much as I do! Thanks for reading :)

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Mary615 I hear exactly what you're saying. We just got our cats back from the best cattery I could find after going away for 2 weeks. I won't say they were traumatized, but because we spoil them so much - they weren't used to this. Next time, I will find someone they know to look after them when we go on holiday.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      As a devoted owner of a MiniatureSchnauzer, can relate to this problem. When I went to Puerto Rico, I was fortunate to have a family member come into my house and care for her. I do pass up opportunities to go places because of her, but she is well worth it. I voted this Hub UP, etc.

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Charlotte - you're welcome! Thanks for reading :)

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Michael - thanks so much! I think you have a real winning idea. While searching online, I came across a few "Cat Hotels" in the UK and America. I definitely think there's a market in Australia and South Africa for something similar!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      6 years ago

      Useful information! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Really useful melchi, thanks. I use a local cattery near work - their primary business is animal transport and recovery and they are very good. In the past I had a dog that was too scared to go into a kennel so my parents always looked after her. I think there is a business potential here for someone with a really trusted brand to take over this market with a professional solution for travelers. Not sure who they are yet, but I'm working on that! Cheers Michael


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