When it’s time to plan a holiday, there’s a lot more that goes into it than just accommodation, travel and what to do at your destination. If you’re a pet parent, you need to consider who will look after your beloved furkids whilst you’re away. If you’re lucky enough to be able to take your pets on vacation with you, check out these tips for travelling with pets. If not, here’s how you can make sure your pets are happy and well-looked after when you’re away:
- Plan in Advance:
Just as you plan your own holiday in advance, pet care is best planned well in advance too. As soon as you know the dates of your travel, it is time to start planning for your pets’ care. If you are hiring a pet sitter, or putting your pet in a boarding kennel, it is imperative that you book in advance to ensure there is space for them during the busy holiday season.
Planning in advance also helps you manage your holiday budget - remember that you will need to pay for boarding or pet sitting and these costs can be pricey.
- Boarding: Nowadays, boarding kennels and catteries are of the highest standard – your pets’ very own hotel getaway! If for some reason you are uncomfortable with a pet sitter staying in or visiting your home, or don’t have anyone to take your pets in whilst you are away, then boarding may be your best option. As with pet sitting, it is imperative that you do your research and find a boarding institution that is safe and has great reviews. A good boarding kennel and cattery should have an itinerary they can share with you, easy access to the premises for you to see that they are up to scratch, and comfortable lodgings for your loved ones.
Your pets are used to their home environment, which is why an in-house pet sitter is usually always the best option. Asking a friend or relative to stay at your home to look after your pets is free and easiest, but is not always possible. If you do have a family member or friend that is willing to take care of your animals while you are away, but they are not able to stay at your home, ensure that they can commit to visiting your house at least once daily, but ideally twice. If you are unable to get help from family or friends, then it’s safest to find a reputable pet sitting company.
Most good pet sitting agencies will be able to find you a sitter who can stay in your home and be with your pets every single day. This means that your pets won’t be alone for long hours and will have the interaction, love and attention they need!
Note: If you have cats, it may be better to endeavor to hire a pet sitter for your home, as cats are more likely to get stressed by a change in environment. This applies to senior dogs and young puppies too.
Before you set off on your holiday and say goodbye to your beloved four-legged family, ensure that your pet sitter or the boarding kennel / cattery are provided with the following information:
- Your pet’s name, age and medical history:
Your pets’ medical history should include all vaccinations, as well as previous and existing health conditions. Most boarding kennels and catteries will not allow pets to be boarded that do not have a valid, up-to-date vaccination card. Further medical information to provide is details of your pet insurance policy and the preferred vet in case of emergencies.
- Feeding information: This includes what times your pet usually eats, the exact type of food and quantity, and any special notes about your pet’s eating habits. If you are boarding your pet, it is advised that you provide the kennel / cattery with your pet’s specific type of food.
- Identification: For both you and your pet! Firstly, your pets should be microchipped, with all the correct and latest contact information recorded. They should also have a tag on their collars with your contact information. It is also a good idea to provide your pets’ carer with more than one contact person, just in case they are unable to get a hold of you.
- Home comforts: If you are boarding your pet, make the separation easier for them by leaving them with their favourite blanket or toy. Give them an old t-shirt to sleep with that will comfort them with your scent – this will make all the difference when your pet is missing you!
Good communication is key. Leave your pet sitter or the boarding kennel / cattery with the detailed information highlighted above, and stay in contact as much as possible. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to ‘chat’ to your pet on the phone for a bit – the wonders of modern technology! Now that you’ve made sure your pets are taken care of whilst you are away, you can enjoy your vacation and look forward to a very warm welcome when you get home.
Make sure your pet’s insurance policy is up-to-date before you go away. Contact Oneplan Pet to find out about our affordable pet insurance plans.