Planning a holiday can be challenging task, but for a pet owner it is even more of a daunting task because in most cases it means leaving behind their precious furry friend while they are on holiday. Most pet owners will have to decide what to do with their pets and choosing between friends and family, a pet sitter, professional home from home care or a boarding kennel/cattery can be tough.
You will need to consider the following questions:
- Would your pet prefer activity and the company of other pets in a kennel situation?
- How will your pet’s exercise and mental stimulation requirements be met?
- Would they be happier in the comfort of a home with their normal routine?
- Does your pet have special medical needs (such as arthritis or diabetes) that would help determine which type of care is best?
- Will family and friends be capable of looking after your pet’s needs?
Here are five options for you to consider when looking to accommodate your pet while you are away.
Family or Friends
This is often a first choice option. Always remember to make sure that the person in charge has up to date information e.g. vet contact details and any medication or special needs are fully explained. There can be issues if something goes wrong or friends and family feel obliged to help when it isn’t really the best situation for either them or the pet.
This is when a sitter goes to your home and looks after your pets. This is very useful for those who do not want to leave their home unattended, or for those who have a lot of pets.
Home away from home boarding care
There are organisations that arrange for your pet to stay with a loving host family in their own home. Detailed information is taken about your pet’s lifestyle and then matched with a family able to offer similar care. This ensures they benefit from keeping their normal home-life routine and therefore experience very little disruption when you are away. It is an alternative to pet sitting as your pet has companionship all of the time on a one on one basis with no need for anyone to have access to your home.
Kennels can sometimes offer your dog more attention, supervision and security than if they’re left home alone to be visited by pet sitters once or twice daily, as well as having staff who are trained to spot any health problems. However, it’s important to remember that some dogs get stressed in unfamiliar environments, so kennels that offer additional services such as grooming, training and bathing may benefit dogs that are more dependent on human contact.
Catteries are usually ‘outdoor’ or ‘indoor’, depending on the presence of outside runs. Ideally there should be no possibility of cats coming into direct contact with each other (apart from those normally living together at home). Cats also love scratching posts, toys and shelves, and need adequate space to exercise and move around.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.