Many pet owners are faced with the dilemma of what to do with their pets when they go on holiday. Whether you’re jetting off to escape the Great British weather or embracing it by holidaying on the British shores, making sure the furry family members are well taken care of whilst you’re away is your priority.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution; it depends on your budget, time away, your pet and their disposition. Here are a few options to consider:
Phone a friend
Enlisting the help of your animal-loving friend, family member, neighbour or colleague is a handy way to keep the costs of pet care down and will give you the confidence that your pet is being well looked after.
You can ease the transition by handing over the reigns for a few hours a couple of times before you go, so your pet and pet sitter can get acquainted.
If your pet is staying away from home, you might send them with a few familiar things, such as:
- their favourite toys
- their bed
- something that smells like you, like an old jumper or blanket
Find a sitter
If you don’t have a friend or family member who fits the bill, you could hire someone who will take care of the house and your pet(s) all in one.
PetStay is one such service. You can use their local branch finder to seek out verified carers to look after your pet whilst you’re away. This means your pet can keep to their usual routine and stay in a comfortable, homely environment, which can reduce the stress and anxiety of you not being there.
Or, try Trusted House Sitters to find someone who will take care of your home and your pets. It costs £7.42 a month to be a member of the site, and you don’t pay anything on top of that when you need someone to house sit. All the sitters are verified and you can see their profiles and past reviews before you hand over the keys.
If you’re just away for a day or two, why not try BorrowMyDoggy to find someone to care for your four-legged friend? The site, which connects dog owners with local dog lovers, lets you choose a dog-sitter from their online profile and get to know them to make sure they’re the right fit.
Boarding kennels and catteries
Before deciding on a kennel or cattery, be sure to make a visit and read reviews from past ‘boarders’. Dropping in unannounced is a good way to see the true everyday workings, without giving them time to prepare for your visit.
Some things you should consider when choosing a kennel are:
- Hygiene – there’s no getting around it, dog poo is going to feature heavily in kennels! However, a good kennel shouldn’t smell of it – a sure sign it isn’t being cleaned regularly enough.
- The staff – you need to be confident the staff are well qualified and are animal lovers.
- The other animals – are they happy, or bored and anxious? Are their water bowls full?
- Paperwork – a good kennel should be prepared to show you they are up to date with industry-standard regulations, licenses, and should ask you to provide vaccination certificates. With so many other animals around, it isn’t rare for your pet to pick up a bug while they’re away, so make sure vaccinations are up to date.
‘Home from home’ kennels
You could think of ‘home from home’ kennels and catteries as the boutique hotels of pet land! Often run out of a person’s home, these kennels are generally smaller in scale, take less ‘boarders’, and have more homely facilities.
Like kennels, home from home kennels should be fully licensed and insured. Be sure to book far enough in advance to secure a spot, especially during the peak holiday times of July and August.
Take them with you
If you can’t bear to be parted from your pet, take them with you! Of course, this works better for some pets than others – primarily dogs. If you’re staying on British shores, why not check out our Best of British Beaches and Great British holidays guides for ideas of where to head with your pooch in tow!
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