Starting to think about getting away for a bit of rest and relaxation? Sunny holidays in exotic locations are still a distant dream for most of us, so staycations are the getaway of choice this year. This may mean that you can travel with pets, but if not, you will be looking for someone to care for your dog so that you can go away safe in the knowledge that your pet is well looked after.
Who can look after my dog while I’m on holiday?
There are some excellent options to consider for dog holiday care and gone are the days when a kennels and cattery was your only option. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Dog hotel
- Doggy daycare
- Dog sitter services
- Friend or neighbour
More on these below…
How to find great dog holiday care
Word of mouth will often point you in the right direction. Ask your local pet owning friends if they can recommend anywhere or maybe speak to your local veterinary practice or pet store to see if they have a list of local dog holiday care options.
Make sure you visit any potential doggy holiday care in plenty of time. First impressions count, so is the owner welcoming and happy to show you around? Does the building look and smell clean with no unpleasant odours? Most importantly do the pets look happy and well cared for? Booking your pet in for a trial night a few weeks before your holiday may help ease any concerns you may have about leaving them for a longer stay.
Hopefully, your pooch is fully up to date with their vaccinations, but if their jabs have lapsed make sure you book an appointment at your veterinary practice at least 6 weeks before you go to give plenty of time to get them back up to date. Most dog holiday care won’t accept your pet without an up-to-date vaccine record.
Which option is right for my dog?
Kennels can be a great option for many dogs, especially the more sociable ones. Your pooch may have the opportunity to go for walks with their new-found friends or even off-lead play in a paddock with like-minded playmates.
If your doggo likes the finer things in life you may wish to consider a dog hotel. This is like a kennels but often with added home comforts, maybe an armchair to curl up in at the end of a busy day or even a television to help pass the time!
If the thought of leaving your dog in a kennel doesn’t appeal, consider a petsitter and dog walker. Petsitters will care for your pet in their own home, often with a small number of other doggy holiday guests or they may live in your home for the duration of your getaway, a good option if your pet is of a sensitive nature.
What about pets with additional requirements?
If you are a pet parent to a pooch with additional needs, you will need to find dog holiday care which is able to accommodate those. Maybe you have an elderly pet who needs extra warmth at night, a diabetic dog who needs twice daily injections or a pet who must be given tablets 3 times a day. Whatever the requirement there will be someone who can accommodate your pet, but you might need to start planning earlier.
Can I leave my pet with a friend or neighbour?
You may be lucky enough to have a friend who you trust to look after your pooch. It is quite a responsibility looking after someone else’s pet but it has the bonus of being a home from home for your pet. Plus, your friend gets daily doggy cuddles, a win-win for everyone.
Travel with pets
With the rise in staycations many of us will be taking our pets with us. If your dog is happy in the car, and the holiday destination is suitable, then it can be a great option. Some forward planning will be needed to make sure that your accommodation provider is happy to accept doggy guests. Even if pets are welcome make sure your holiday plans are dog friendly! For example, if you are planning lots of indoor activities how will you occupy your four-legged friend? Lots of holiday companies won’t allow pets to be unattended in their properties and especially over the warm summer months you cannot risk leaving your pet in the car.
So, here’s to a Summer of staycations. Plan in advance to make sure your pet is well looked after so you can enjoy your much-needed getaway without the worry.