Kennels, catteries and petsitters. Although lately more owners than ever are taking their pets on holiday with them, there will still be occasions when our four-legged friends may have to stay behind when we go away.
To help ensure a happy holiday for all concerned, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury, has put together a helpful guide for owners.
Family, friends and neighbours
A trusted friend, family member or neighbour can be invaluable when planning holiday care for pets, and having someone familiar to take care of them can be far less stressful for you and your pet. A house sitter who is familiar with your pets is a useful option and dogs especially shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time as they are very social animals. They should either have somebody stay in the house with them, or go and stay at the home of someone they know. This is also a nice option for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and cats that are used to plenty of cuddles, or any other pets that require care and human interaction.
Reputable “pet sitters” that stay in your home with your pets can be a good option, particularly for cats who can find change very stressful. Make sure you use a registered sitter and ask for references. A prospective sitter should be happy to visit you and meet your pets before you make a decision.
Kennels and catteries
These are ideal if you are away for any length of time and your pets cope well with new environments and different people. Plan well ahead as the best ones get booked up quickly during peak periods, and visit beforehand to make sure you’re happy with the environment. A good facility will welcome any new potential client to look around.
Boarding kennels and catteries should require proof of up-to-date vaccinations, information about your pet’s diet, exercise and other daily routines, plus your vet’s contact details. Many kennels will also require that your dog is vaccinated against kennel cough which is a contagious infection that can be transmitted in kennel environments.
Holiday Care Checklist:
Remember to leave a letter giving permission for your carer to authorise any veterinary treatment, should your pet need care while you’re away
Write down your pet’s diet, exercise needs and their usual routine – it can be difficult for someone else to remember the details
Make sure you leave contact details for your vet, plus any relevant medical history
Make a list of likes and dislikes, and leave a favourite toy or blanket – these home comforts can help reduce any stress your pet might experience