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Holiday boarding options for you and your pet

You’ve checked your passport, picked your place in the sun and started dreaming of a well-earned break. So what are you going to do with your best friend when departure time rolls around? It’s a familiar dilemma facing many cat and dog owners as they prepare for their summer holidays.

Considering what’s best for you and your pet might be a little time consuming but it will be well worth the hours of research if it means you can simply up and go, safe in the knowledge that you will all be happy with the outcome. Here, we take a quick look at the choices open to you.

  • Taking your pet with you

As we highlighted in our recent blog on pet passports, it’s pretty easy and relatively cheap to take your pet abroad. Providing you are heading off to a destination and accommodation that is cat or dog friendly, all should be well. Don’t forget to ask yourself what you will do with your companion if you want a day at the beach or trip to the shopping centre.
Here in the UK there’s a healthy choice of holiday homes and even hotels and boarding houses that are happy to take a well behaved dog, so there’s no reason why you can’t stay in comfort together and spend days walking around some of the UK’s favourite beauty spots.

  • Boarding kennels and catteries

Most reputable kennels and catteries will get booked up early, so don’t delay your enquiry if you’re thinking of pursuing this option. Take advice from fellow owners or your vet, who will likely be able to recommend a good establishment. An unannounced visit is always a good idea if you want to see exactly how a place is run. You’ll be able to see how staff treat their guests and get an insight into the hygiene standards.

Consult your vet about vaccinating against kennel cough and other nasty bugs that might pose a risk to your dog during a stay at the kennels. Cats will need to be vaccinated too if they’re staying in a cattery. Check their vaccination record in advance, rather than leaving it until the last minute.

  • Hire a house sitter

Getting someone in to look after your cat or dog comes with the added security of them keeping an eye on your home too. Having a relative or stranger stay at your place means your pet gets to stay in the familiarity of their own territory, removing the stress of being left somewhere that’s not so common to them. Taking on a pet sitter can work out cheaper than kenneling or a cattery and you don’t run the risk of your four-legged friend picking up a cough or virus from fellow boarders. When looking for a pet sitter be sure to choose a company with solid reviews from satisfied customers.  Please see our guest blog focusing on house sitters for more information.

  • Home from home boarding

Some specialist companies will place your dog at a carer’s home while you’re away. There’ll be no other pets around and your dog will most likely be in the hands of an experienced dog lover. Although not in familiar surroundings, your dog will have lengthy periods of valuable human contact and be spared the anxiety that might arise from a visit to the kennels.

Boarding kitty out at someone else’s home is an option not widely available to cat owners but there is a sprinkling of feline hotels in existence if you want to give your cat a luxurious holiday of its own while you enjoy yours.

Whichever route you choose, have a happy holiday!

5 May 2015

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