Bichon Maltais dog in a suitcase

There are various pet care services available for you and your pets.

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What to do with your pets when you go on vacation

By Pippa Ischt Content Writer

Updated on the

There are times when your pet can’t come on holiday with you - sad, we know - but don’t worry, here are a few tips for you and your pet, to make sure you both have a happy vacation.

A holiday is a perfect way to relax, rewind and relieve everyday stresses. However, before you set off on your travels there are a few things to arrange and organise - one being pet care.

If your dog or cat can’t go on holiday with you, there are a few different pet care options you can consider. To make it easier to find the right choice for you and your pet, we’ve put together a few good options for you to choose from.

Dog vacation care: What to do with your dog when you travel?

Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or long holiday, one thing is for certain, your dog deserves the best care while you’re away. Ensure you have peace of mind when they’re away from you here are a few places they can stay.

Neighbour, friend or a family member

You know your dog is in good hands when it’s a person you know and trust well and you would be reassured that your friend will answer to your dog's special needs. An ideal option for holiday care for your dog is to spend a few days with your neighbour, friend or a family member, as long as they’re available for the duration of your holiday, of course. If they haven’t taken care of your dog for a longer period of time why not do a few test runs.

For example leave your pup with them for a few hours, then a day, and then a week. This ensures they get familiar with your friend, their home (if they’re staying in their home) and it also gives your neighbour, friend or family member a chance to get to know your dog's daily routine too. For your dog to feel comfortable in its temporarily new environment, make sure you bring your pup's favourite treats!

Dog boarder

If family, friends or neighbours can’t help you out, a dog boarder is a good option for dog care. A dog boarder usually looks after a dog in their own home, making them a part of their family and life for the days they spend with them. This is a great option for dog owners that are looking for a more home-like feel to their dog’s care, as there are no crates or cages used.

Usually a dog owner will visit the dog boarder a few times before their dog goes to stay. This ensures that everyone is comfortable with the arrangement.

Dog kennel 

A dog kennel is another option for when you’re away on holiday, but do make sure that your pup would be comfortable in this type of environment. Although many dog kennels have open space for exercise and play time dogs will stay on their own in a crate or kennel, and therefore can be quite lonely and isolating. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety this might not be the best option for you both.

The price for keeping your dog in a kennel tends to be cheaper than using a dog boarder but the experience for your dog is quite different.  Little tip: Your pup may need to be crate trained before going to a kennel.

Also due to licensing regulations in the UK, have comfort knowing that both dog kennels and dog boarders must monitor and keep a record of your dog's stay with them, and provide them access to a bed and toys.

Crate training is something very important to teach your dog. But you want the crate to be stylish right? Here are a few really cool crates for your dog and we are sure your furry friend will enjoy its crate training sessions.

Where can I leave my cat while I’m on vacation?

It’s safe to say that cats are creatures of habit and enjoy their home comforts. Any cat owner knows that trying to change their routine or get them in that dreaded travel box is a nightmare! Therefore the most popular choice for care for a cat owner when they are away is a pet sitter. A cat or pet sitter will normally come by or stay at the owner’s house where the cat is most comfortable.

As cats are independent creatures, a good friend or neighbor may be available to check on your cat once or twice a day, but if not a professional cat sitting service may be your answer. Checking local Facebook groups, or asking people for recommendations is a great place to start finding a local cat sitter.

Does my pet miss me when I go on vacation?

Even if your dog or cat is staying with good friends and you know they’ll be spoilt, it’s still hard to say goodbye when you go on vacation. Will they miss you when you’re gone? Honestly, no one really knows what goes on inside a dog’s or cat’s head but if they’re left in capable hands they will cope better.

Dog’s learn to associate things with other things, for example when an owner picks up their keys they know this means they’re leaving the house. So they can learn to associate your suitcases or travelling gear with being left alone, but if they’re going to dog sitter or friend where their routine will be followed and they’ll have fun - of course they might not understand why you’re not there - but have peace of mind they will be having a good time.

Cats are often taken care of in their own home so they may not be as concerned as dogs when their owner leaves. As long as they have their small comforts and their routine doesn't change too distractly they will cope fine. Of course, they will be happy to see their favourite human when they return.

Spending time and effort finding the right person to care for your pet when you’re on holiday can really pay off. Hey, they might even have a better holiday than you do!

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