Booking a holiday is exciting – choosing the location, the outfits, things for the kids…it all needs to be organised. But one thing pet owners can’t forget is organising what to do with the pets when they go away. Leaving the pets behind when the family heads on holiday does need a bit of planning, so here are 7 of my top tips for pet holiday care:
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If this is your first time heading away you might not have even thought about what to do with your pets.
Are you going to ask a friend or family member, are you going to leave them in a kennel/cattery or are you going to let them stay home while you are away?
3 Pet Care Options For When You Travel Away
There are a few options when it comes to pet care. To help you consider which is going to suit you and your pets best we’ve outlined the options below, including some pros and cons.
#1. Pet Sitter
Using a Pet Sitter is a great way to keep your pets in the same routine they are used to. Much like kids, animals can get a bit unsettled when things change too much.
With a Pet Sitter you can have visits at the times your pets would normally get fed, walked and played with. They get to stay in their own homes and enjoy their usual home comforts.
Where this option might not suit is if your pet gets very lonely when you are away and becomes destructive. But for most – napping on the sofa or playing in the garden (depending if they are in or out pets), and then having a Sitter come and take care of their needs goes down very well.
You also have the added benefit of home security using a Pet Sitter. No-one likes to go away leaving their home looking empty. Having someone call in/out during your holiday means lights can be turned on/off, curtains can be closed/opened and bins put out – all giving your home that occupied look and feel.
A Kennel/Cattery is a facility you take your pets to rather than leaving them at home. This means you can drop your pets off on your way on holiday and pick them up on your way back.
There are a couple of downsides to this option. Firstly your pet is completely out of routine and secondly your home is left empty for the duration of your holiday.
Having said that, some pets might do better in a kennel if they can’t be left alone at all or are very destructive at home.
#3. Friends /Family
Of course friends and family can be a great option to take care of your pets.
The only downside with family is that sometimes they aren’t available or don’t want to commit to caring for your pets if you are away for a long time.
You might also enjoy reading What Are The Best Pets for Kids to Get First
7 Top Tips to Prepare For Your Pet Holiday Care
Whether you have decided to use an in-home care option for your pets or you are going to leave them in a boarding kennel you need to make sure they have everything they need while you are away.
#1. Preparing the home
If you are leaving your pets at home then it’s important to get things ready for the Pet Sitter.
- Have you moved everything out of the way that you don’t want your pets having access to?
- Have you set up the Pet Cam if you are going to use one? This means you can watch your pets while you are on holiday and check everything is ok.
- Have you set the heating for your pets? You don’t want to turn the heating off when you are away as your pets will be cold.
#2. Outline Your Pet’s Schedule
Whether you are using an in-home pet care option or a kennel it’s important to write out your pets schedule for the person taking care of them.
That includes things like:
- What time they get fed and how much you need to feed them.
- How often they get walked and if they have a specific area they get walked in.
- When they get treats and how many of them.
- How often the cat litter gets changed/cleaned and what to do with the waste.
#3. Organise Food/Treats
Most pets have the same if not very similar food and treats all the time. It’s therefore important to make sure you have listed out the amount and type of food that you want to be fed to your pets.
Make sure if you have a special measure for your food that you leave that along with the exact amounts.
The more specific you can be with feeding the better – you don’t want your pets to gain or lose weight while you are away.
You might also enjoy reading 5 Tips to Help Avoid a Bored Cat or Dog
#4. Get Their Bed Ready
Make sure you organise your pets bedding, bed and any blankets they are used to having when they sleep.
If you are worried about your pets being anxious while you are away then it can be advisable to leave them with an item of your clothing. The familiar smell will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed.
#5. Organise Their Activities/Toys
Toys are a great way to keep your pets active when you aren’t there. If your dog gets bored easily interactive toys can be a great way to stop them being destructive in your absence.
It’s also fun for your Pet Sitter to have plenty of toys to play with your pets. Cats love to play with feathers on sticks, balls – anything that moves really!
And what dog doesn’t love some type of game they can play – maybe catch, or fetch or something less strenuous?
#6. Get The Supplies Ready
Have you made sure that you have enough of the regular supplies – things like poo bags, cat litter, cleaning supplies, any medication etc.
These type of things you might be used to picking up at the shops when you are about to run out. But when you are planning to go on holiday it’s important to make sure you have enough of everything so you don’t run out.
#7. List All Emergency Information
Make a list of emergency contact information for your pet care provider.
Include your vet information, an emergency contact, plumber contact (in case of burst pipes), and electrician’s details and so on.
Being organised when you travel away means that your pet care provider is less likely to need to contact you when you are on holiday and your pets will receive the best care possible in your absence.
For more details about how Pet Sitters Ireland delivers Pet Sitting and Dog Walking services please download our Pet Owners ebook.
Over to you now. Any other tips for pet owners for leaving them when you go on holiday? What have you done in the past for your pet holiday care? Share your tips in the comments below.