Going on holiday is often a real project in the making, from booking your flights and hotel, to figuring out exactly what you want to do once you get there. There are a whole range of bits and bobs to get organised before you take off towards your destination. If you have pets, one of the more important aspects of planning to go on holiday is making sure that they will be properly cared for throughout the time you are away.
There are a number of options for those with pets who want to go on holiday, if you’re not planning on taking them with you. We’ve listed four ways in which you can make sure your pets stay safe and sound while you are on holiday, so read on to find out more.
1. Round to a Relative’s
If you have a close friend or relative who has experience looking after your pets, or are at least familiar with your pets, you can always leave Fluffy or Figaro with them. Of course it is important that your relatives have a good relationship with the pet in question, otherwise your pet may end up running away if they are a cat or dog.
Ensuring familiarity for your pet is also important, so you should make up a pet bed with a number of familiar toys and items so that your pet doesn’t feel homesick. Try to do a couple of dummy runs so that you know your pet will be fine without you before you go on holiday for real.
2. Animal Hotels
For the pampered pooch! Animal hotels can be a pretty expensive way of housing your pet during the holidays, but you can guarantee that your pet will want for nothing. Whether it is a cat, dog, rodent or lizard, there are animal hotels designed to cater for a whole number of animals. These hotels also provide love and grooming sessions where the animal is given special care and attention during their stay.
If you fancy giving your pet a little holiday of their own while you are off having fun, this is certainly the option for you. However it is important to remember that these can cost a pretty penny depending on the size of your pet and its pedigree. Some houses have been completely remodelled to cater to cats and dogs, complete with playroom, grooming rooms and much more, so be prepared to pull out all the stops if you choose this option.
3. Kennels or Small Animal Board
This is a more budgeted version of your animal hotel and really only an option if you have no-where else to turn. Kennels and small animal board businesses are a functional way of housing your pets over the holiday, however your pet will likely not be able to receive individual care and attention throughout their stay. If you’re looking for something personal and pampered, you’ll probably need to look elsewhere. However if you’re in a fix and need somewhere to stay, kennels and small animal board lodgings are good value for money and the animals are well kept and comfortable.
4. Getting a Neighbour to Check In
Sometimes you don’t even have to take your pet elsewhere to make sure that they get all the love and care they need while you are on holiday. If you have a good working relationship with your neighbours, or if you have a friend who lives nearby, you can always give them a spare key so that they can check in on your pet every now and then. Remember however, if your pet has any special dietary requirements or exercise needs, you should lay these out clearly on a ‘To Do’ list.
You also need to be able to choose a friend or neighbour who you can trust to do the job properly and not a forgetful or absent-minded neighbour. If you leave your kid’s pet guinea pig or fish collection in the hands of a neighbour and they happen to perish during the course of your holiday, you certainly don’t want to be the person who breaks the news. Make sure you let your neighbour know how important your pet means to you. It also helps if you offer a reward of some kind, either the promise of holiday souvenirs or some form of payment for their troubles. It normally works as a good incentive where good will and pleasant chatter may fail.
It is important that you know exactly where you pet is going while you are on holiday. If you don’t have a relative contingency plan, you may be left in the lurch when it comes down to it, and you don’t want to suddenly have to pay out loads of money for a last minute hotel space. Like everything else you need to organise when going on holiday, this should be a relative priority! Make sure you have a plan for looking after your pet – yes even the cats, although they are quite good at looking after themselves – before you start planning tourist destinations and sorting out your outfits as this takes precedence!
This article was written by Sara Bryant, working together with Lead on Pet Services who were consulted over the content.