We know how much it pulls on your heartstrings to leave your pet while you go on holiday, no matter how excited you are to be jetting off! As soon as the suitcase comes out, so do the puppy eyes from your furry friend.
Before you can even start thinking about sunny skies and sandy beaches, you want to make sure your pet will be safe and happy while you’re gone. The good news is that with some planning and preparation, they’ll be well taken care of and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your trip.
Who will look after your pet?
Friends or family
Pets can get stressed while you’re away due to the change in their usual routine. Having a friend or family member who can look after them in your home will usually be the best option, helping to keep things familiar for them.
A pet sitter
If you’re not able to find a friend or family member who is available to look after your pet, consider getting a pet sitter – someone who will stay in your home to look after your pet while you’re away.
It can be difficult to find the right pet-sitter, as you want to be sure that they are properly suited to care for your pet (and your property). The National Associated of Registered Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers has a handy list of registered members that is a great place to start your search.
Remember this checklist when choosing your pet sitter:
- Meet them first
- Ask to see a copy of their DBS
- Check their references
- Make sure they have insurance
- Introduce them to your pet
Animal boarding or kennels
When it comes to finding the perfecting boarding or kennel facility for your pet, research is key. Take some time to look at your options and consider making a list so that you can compare the ones in your area and the services they offer.
The RSPCA suggests asking these questions when choosing your animal boarding or kennel facility:
- Do they have an up-to-date licence?
- Are facilities clean, dry, secure and draught-free?
- Do they have insurance cover in case your pet needs emergency care?
- Will they exercise your pet?
- Do they offer introductory sessions for your pet?
- Will staff spend time with your pet each day?
- Do they ask for proof of vaccination?
- Do they ask about your pet’s diet and health?
- Can they accommodate any medical issues your pet has?
- Is there a suitable system to monitor your pet?
- Do you feel welcome?
- Are all animals up to date with flea and worm treatments?
- Do animals in their care look clean, happy and healthy?
- Are small animals kept well away from dogs and cats?
Things to remember before you go
Keep things familiar
Does your pet have any particular items that usually help them to relax? Think favourite bedding, toys and treats that will help them feel more comfortable while you’re away.
Check their tag and microchip
Make sure that your pet’s tag and microchip details are up to date with your current address and phone number so that you can always be reached should your pet go missing.
It’s natural to feel anxious about leaving your pet in the care of someone else, but it’s important that you stay calm and positive in the run-up to your holiday. This will prevent your pet from picking up on any emotional cues that may cause them stress.
Make a note of your pet’s routine
You should share your pet’s routine with whoever they’ll be staying with, whether that’s a friend or boarding facility, to help keep things as normal for them as possible. Include their usual food and treats (plus feeding instructions), exercise schedule and any medication instructions.
Remember to take leads, collars, toys, litter trays, cages, scratching posts etc. if dropping your pet off at a boarding facility to help keep things familiar for them.
Make sure vaccinations are up to date
If leaving your pet at a boarding facility or kennels, make sure their vaccinations are up to date, especially for kennel cough, which can be passed on easily from other dogs.
For more advice on leaving your pet when you go away, or for any other concerns you may have, please contact your local St Kitts branch.
St Kitts Veterinary Centre: 01252 844044
Basingstoke Veterinary Centre: 01256 844944
Crookham Park Veterinary Centre: 01252 913990
Firgrove Veterinary Centre: 01252 877799