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Finding the right holiday care for your pet

8 June 2018

Holidays – a time to get away from everyday life and enjoy a change of scenery. Whether your idea of a break is adrenaline-fuelled or relaxing, when you’re a pet parent the question of what to do with your furry, feathered, or scaly friend is one that can weigh heavy.

As members of the family, leaving your pet behind can be a wrench and a cause of sleepless nights. The hardest part is entrusting someone else to care for their welfare in your absence.

Here at Pets Corner we understand the emotional pull, so we’ve put together some top tips on what to look out for when researching the options available. Finding the right place means you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday as much as your pet will.

1.       Ask family, friends or neighbours

The first port of call is often to turn to family, friends or neighbours for help. However, taking on someone else’s pet is a big responsibility and you’ll need to make sure your chosen carer is aware of what the favour will involve. For dogs, going to stay with family or friends can be a good option as it offers a familiar home away from home.

This option isn’t always suitable for cats. Their territorial nature means they can get stressed when away from their usual surroundings. Would family or friends be happy to visit each day to give fresh food and water, clean litter trays and offer some company? This is also an excellent option for smaller furry friends such as rabbits and hamsters.

2.       Hire a professional

If asking friends and family isn’t a viable option, professional pet sitters can be hired to visit your home every day or stay for the duration. The advantage of a full-time ‘house sitter’ is they’ll provide constant pet care. However, you’ll need to do some thorough research to find a reputable company before making your selection, as this individual will have unsupervised access to your home. Ask friends and family for recommendations and check out client reviews to gain a better insight. The National Association of Registered Petsitters (NARP) has a list of members on its website.

We recommend sitters have animal first aid training and are fully insured. Make sure your pet and the professional meet each other before your holiday to have a chance to bond. You’ll be able to see first hand how the sitter interacts with your pet and responds to their needs.

3.       Find a boarding facility

Boarding options can range from in-home to traditional boarding kennels and catteries. Every boarding business must be licensed with the local authority, so take time to check its credentials and pay a visit to make sure you’re happy with the standard of accommodation provided. Vets can often recommend suitable places. When you visit, ask yourself:

  1. Do the animals look happy and well cared for?
  2. Does the boarding facility ask to see vaccination records?
  3. How many staff are employed per animal?
  4. What is the daily routine?
  5. Do they ask questions about your pet’s individual requirements?

When it comes to holiday care, the key is to start thinking well in advance of your planned trip, so you don’t have to make a rushed decision. Leaving your animal to fend for itself is never an option.

With so much to consider, finding what’s right for your family can feel overwhelming but we’re here to help. Visit our knowledgeable staff in any of our branches to get their informed advice. And enjoy your holiday!