Kirsty McGovern is from equestrian and pet supply specialists, Millbry Hill. Here, she shares her top tips for caring for your pet when you’re going on holiday.
We can all feel a little guilty when leaving our furry friends behind while we go off to holiday in the sun for a week or two, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With plenty of accommodation options and things you can do to get them settled in your absence, you needn’t worry yourself about their care.
Here, I will be sharing my top five tips for caring for your pet when you’re away, so you can rest assured they’re having as good a time as you. Read on for more.
Find a reputable cattery or kennel
Leaving your pets behind can be stressful, and, even if there’s nobody around to look after your pet, many of us wouldn’t dream of leaving them on their own for a prolonged period. So, if you want to ensure your pet is well looked after when you’re on holiday, sending them to a well-reviewed cattery or kennel can be a big help. And, as the workers in these places are professionals who are used to caring for many different animals, you can guarantee that they’re in the right hands.
But, before you send them away to board, there are some things you should be thinking about. Due to their convenience, catteries, kennels and any other types of animal boarding can be very popular and do tend to fill up quickly, especially during holiday seasons. So, don’t leave the search for a suitable one till last minute, as this could add even more stress to the process.
Additionally, due to their popularity and round the clock pet attention and care, they don’t tend to come cheap. Some will even have a minimum stay time — so even if you’re going for 5 days you might have to pay for up to a week. Plus, the cost might also depend on the type of animal, the size and breed, so shop around before settling on one.
It’s also a good idea to go and see the accommodation before sending your pet there, as well as checking the pick-up and drop-off times. And, when the time comes, don’t forget to send your pets off with some home comforts like their favourite toys and blankets.
Hire a pet sitter
As previously mentioned, pet accommodation can be pricey, but in some cases the unfamiliar environment can also add to your pet’s distress. So, wherever possible, it’s a better idea to keep them at home if someone’s able to watch over them for you.
If you have friends or family local to you, try asking them to move in for the time you’re away, or even agree upon a few daily visits to ensure your pet is appropriately cared for. However, if this isn’t a viable option, you may need to consider hiring a professional sitter, who will be able to form a bond with your pet and ensure they’re at ease. If you choose to hire somebody, consider introducing them to your pet before the holiday to get them accustomed to one another.
If you’re concerned about leaving your pet with someone who doesn’t know them as well as you do, leaving a list of things that should be done and emergency contact numbers will help to put your mind at ease and keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy.
Gear them up for your absence
By now you’ll already know your pet’s own unique personality, but it’s worth making a list of things they do daily at certain times. For example, if they always get hungry at a certain time or if they’re used to a particular time for walks. This will be useful if you’re leaving them with somebody else as they can use this as a guideline to ensure they stick to your pet’s schedule.
While dogs may require more frequent attention, some independent cats can be left at home with a daily check-in by a sitter or family member for a bit of TLC and maintenance. But, it’s still a good idea to get your pets more used to you leaving in the future, and you can do this by gradually adjusting their routine. This might include leaving them for a little bit longer each day, so they are prepared to spend more of their day alone when it’s time for you to go away.
Speak to your vet
Before you leave for your holiday, it’s important that you know whether your pet is up to date with all vaccinations and is in a healthy state. This will also be a good opportunity to stock up on any medicine they might need in your absence.
Your vet might also have some suggestions as to what would be best for your individual pet if they know them well, or even recommendations for well-trusted and reviewed pet sitters and boarding options.
Try home boarding
Some animal lovers will open up their home to other people’s pets to give them a place to board and socialise with other pets while their owners are away. This is a great way of keeping them occupied and happy while you’re holidaying. And, as this is more of an intimate setting than a boarding kennel, it’ll be a great way to ensure a friendly and sociable pet’s needs are met.
Just be sure you check out the boarding place before committing to it so you can get an insight into what the owner is like and how well your pet will settle in. Your vet might even be able to suggest some reputable home boarding owners, so it’s worth asking them on your pet’s pre-holiday check-up.
Leaving your pet at home can be stressful and upsetting for the both of you, but there are plenty of options to ensure their needs are sufficiently catered for while you’re away. So, if you’re struggling to see a solution, try one of my top five suggestions so you can sit back and relax on your holiday.