How to look after your pet while you're on holiday?

How to look after your pet while you're on holiday

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Tips on how to look after your pet while you're on holiday

When it comes to travel, it may appear as if dogs have a sixth instinct, especially when they aren't invited! During the pre-vacation flurry, Kitty may snuggle up to you the moment the luggage are packed, or your dog may appear unhappy. One of the most important considerations pet owners must make before leaving is what to do with their pets.

We've all experienced the stress of trying to figure out what to do with our pet while on vacation. If you don't discover the proper answer for you and your pet, it may be quite costly.

If you're going on vacation for a week or six months, you have a few alternatives for your pet: have someone look after your pet in your home, have your pet go to someone else's home, take your pet with you, or board them in a kennel or cattery. What you do with them is determined by the length of your trip, the amount of money you're ready to spend, and your level of confidence in people to look after your extended family.

Find a dog or cat sitter

Looking after your pet while you're on holiday

A really good option is to combine personal and professional qualities and opt to hire a pet sitter. Many cats and dogs like to stay in their own homes, so hiring a professional pet sitter to come in for feedings, walks, and playtimes is a good idea. You can choose whether you want a sitter to come to your house, however many times a day, to spend quality time with your pet or you can allow them to stay at your house for the duration of your holiday (potentially doubling up as a house-sitter).

For short travels, I find that leaving your dog or cat at home and hiring a pet sitter works nicely. We used to ask a neighbour to keep an eye on her, but as our friends' lives get busy with kids and job, it's gotten more difficult, so we've decided to employ someone.

The biggest downside of hiring a sitter is that it may be rather expensive, especially for extended travels. Professional sitters are typically trustworthy (but verify references thoroughly) and knowledgeable in animal care. Some pet sitters are even trained in Pet First Aid and are insured. Pet sitters often visit cats once a day and dogs twice a day.

For shorter trips, we hire a professional pet sitter. Find a sitter you enjoy, and you'll have peace of mind knowing your pet is in good care while you're away. They may visit your home many times a day to play with your pet, feed them, and even email you images of how they're doing.


  • Your pet is in their own territory which is especially good for cats who like to establish a territory wherever they are.
  • There's no danger of the pet damaging other people's belongings.
  • Everything your pet has is already there and they know where they are: Food, toys, cage, etc.
  • No other animals for them to compete with for any reason.
  • Your pets can eat the same brand and type of foods and can continue their daily routine.
  • The sitter looking after your pets can also double up as an unofficial house sitter; taking in mail, cleaning walkways, turning on lights, etc. to give the appearance that someone is home.
  • You can just leave the keys with the sitter and go on holiday; no need to take the pet anywhere.


  • Animals will get lonely if they are left alone all day.
  • There's an increased risk of missing feedings or walks.
  • There's a higher chance of toilet accidents on floors.
  • Pets will always be on the lookout for you meaning they could become stressed if you're not there.
  • Unfamiliar carers could get attacked when they arrive.

Bring your dog to an in-home pet boarder

Looking after your pet while you're on holiday

In-home pet boarding is an excellent alternative to hiring a pet sitter. Before going on holiday, you can bring your pets to a local pet sitter's house for in-home boarding. The demands of your pet will determine whether you should board your pet at home or pay a pet sitter to come to your home.

A pet sitter is likely to already have a few pets with them, which might give companionship for your pet. A pet sitter will be aware of the dangers of introducing a new animal into their house and will be familiar with how to care for it. They may have specialised kennels or live with them as part of their family, depending on the scale of their company.

It also allows for more customised care and daily connection. In-home boarding is also less expensive than hiring a pet sitter to come to your house, and you don't have to give up your house keys.


  • Your pet will most likely be around people and other animals to socialise.
  • Your pet will have dedicated walks and play times.
  • Your pet will have new areas to explore.
  • There is less chance that your pet will be lonely.


  • Unfamiliar areas could make your pet stressed.
  • Your pet may have possible issues with other animals (cats and alpha dogs especially).
  • Your pet might be kept in a cage or an area that you’re noy comfortable with.
  • You’ll need to drop your pet off and pick it up.

Ask a friend or family member to help

Our pet stayed with a family member while we were away. The cat relished all of their love and care, which included daily brushings, unlimited Temptations cat snacks, sunbathing, and chasing mice through the long grass. We had to urge them to return home with us most of the time.

This can be a terrific alternative because your pet may already be accustomed with the location and the person, especially if your animal is already acquainted with your sitter and their dogs. Trust should not be a problem since you already know them. If you want your animal to be cared for outside of your house, this may be the most cost-effective alternative.

Friends or neighbours that are pet lovers might be a terrific alternative to look after your pet while you're gone. Consider inviting them to come in and feed and play with your four-legged family member the next time you are on vacation. Confirm, of course, that this individual is trustworthy and informed about basic pet care. Be similarly cautious if your dog or cat has a history of marking "new territory" since this might put a strain on your relationship.

Offer to repay the favour someday if this friend or neighbour owns a pet, and consider bringing them a small souvenir from your vacation as a thank you.

Find a house sitter to care for your pet

Because house sitters frequently reside in your home full-time, your pets should receive the same level of care that you would. Pets are constantly monitored and cared after.

The house sitter will be living in your home while you are gone so you must feel comfortable giving them complete access to your belongings. Because you're exchanging lodging for pet care, this is usually a cost-effective choice, however some pet sitters are compensated extra.

Find a volunteer dog sitter

Asking a volunteer to look after your pet is a cost-effective choice because you'll typically only have to pay for food and supplies. Shelters and the humane society may be able to help you find a volunteer to care for your pet. Volunteers have a strong affinity for animals, and your pet will very certainly be accompanied by a few other animals in their care. As they are a volunteer, you shouldn't have to pay for them to be looked after. It is unfair to expect the volunteer to pay for anything so please ensure that you cover all expenses related to the pet sitting.

Put your pet in a kennel

Animals and how to care for them should be familiar to a professional service. These providers have the facilities and personnel in place to provide excellent care for your pet. Your pet may, however, be kept in a cage for longer than you would prefer. However, there are some excellent boarding facilities available. Check references and perhaps consider leaving your pet for a brief trial period. Almost every big city has a plethora of dog boarding kennels, but many of them also accept cats and other pets.

If you have a cat, look for a boarding facility that does not allow cats to interact with one another. As a pet parent, it's critical to look for feline-only boarding facilities. It's not a good idea to put cats in a room with strangers unless they're from the same family. This is a necessary precaution to prevent cats from fighting or mating. Inquire about a spacious confinement space with a litter box, toys, and food puzzles, as well as a hiding spot for the cats.

Dogs, on the other hand, are pack animals and gregarious, so make sure they get enough exercise to play and run with other dogs.

Many veterinarians provide boarding services that include round-the-clock animal care. If your pet has medical concerns or you're concerned about their health, this may be a great situation. Many veterinarians work out of animal hospitals and have the resources to care for your pet, whether it's a dog or a cat.

Take your pet with you

Looking after your pet while you're on holiday

In some cases, travelling with your pet may be enjoyable, and it is becoming increasingly realistic as the number of pet-friendly hotels increases. If you love the great outdoors and usually go camping, your dog would love being with you and your family. There are new smells, environments to explore. However, double-check that your trip is pet-friendly, since many locations, such as parks and beaches, have "no dogs allowed" restrictions. A pet-friendly vacation, on the other hand, might be a welcome change of pace if your pet enjoys travelling.

If you're travelling by campervan or car, or if you want to stay in one spot for an extended period of time, bringing your pet along may be a smart idea. When bringing your pet into a new country, be aware of the border regulations. Animals entering some countries, such as The UK, are subjected to lengthy quarantine periods. Other countries are less stringent, requiring merely confirmation of vaccines and a veterinarian's certificate of good health.

In summary...

Make sure whomever is looking after your pet is someone you can trust. Always seek for suggestions from strangers, whether it's a business or a professional sitter. If your pet is staying someplace else, ask to have a look around to see how clean it is and how well the other animals are treated. Take your pet there ahead of time if feasible so that they may become acquainted to the environment while you give reassurance. To make their stay more pleasurable, bring familiar toys and things. Make sure they have your emergency contact information, as well as any specific requirements your pet may have, and, if feasible, a local contact they can deal with if you're not available.

Cats, on the whole, prefer to be in their own homes and do not require the continual care that dogs do. If your trip is only a few days long, it may be better to have someone come in every day to see them and make sure their litter is changed. If your sitter is called away suddenly, make sure your cats have enough food and water to survive an additional few days.

Dogs, on the other hand, are often more sociable than cats and demand more continual care. It's preferable to have a dog living with you, whether at home or elsewhere. Keep your dog in a familiar environment if at all possible. It's very uncommon for dogs left at home when their owners go on vacation to spend the most of the day looking at the door, waiting for you to return. It's also typical for dogs left someplace else to act out and behave in unusual ways, so make sure whomever is looking after them is looking out for their best interests.

Animals are typically adaptive to their environment, and some pets even like the extra attention they receive while their owners are gone for long periods of time. You might be amazed at how well they do whether they're staying at the newest hip dog centre or at your Grandma's house with her four other cats.

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