If you’re going away, especially for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to work out what to do with your furry friends. Asking a friend to drop in on them once a day if you’re just jetting off for a short break is fine, but less practical if you’re leaving for a month or more – and it can be a bit of an imposition on people’s lives. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can rest assured your pets will be healthy and happy while you’re away.
- Hire a Housesitter
Feel like killing two birds with one stone? not only will a house sitter be able to look after your house while you’re gone, they’ll be able to keep your pets company and maintain their daily routine. Your home and belongings will be kept safe for free and your animals will be well looked after.
While some expect you to pay for their house sitting services, most are happy to look after the pets and house in return for free accommodation.
If you decide to go down this route, remember that you need to be comfortable with someone being amongst your belongings – it’s a good idea to have one room in which you put anything you want to be left untouched, and keep it locked so that the house sitter doesn’t have access.
- Kennels and Pet Hotels
This option isn’t up everyone’s alley, and it is important to look into the reputation of these pet care facilities. Make sure you thoroughly check the reviews, visit if you can or at least call up to chat with the staff – find out how knowledgeable and caring they are, and see if you like the general feel you get for the place. If you have time for a trial run to see how your pet fares in a boarding facility, then that’s definitely something you should do.
You should also keep in mind that no matter how nice the facility, this kind of environment is a stressful one for your pets to be in, especially if they’re used to a quiet home or if they have a familiar routine that is suddenly being disrupted. Your pet will likely be kept in a confined (but comfortable) space for long periods of time, so if this is something you aren’t comfortable with or that they wouldn’t like, you might want to explore other options.
On the bright side, putting your pet in a boarding house or pet hotel means they won’t get lonely, as they’ll be around other animals and people (a particular benefit for dogs), and rather than a friend or neighbor they will be in the good hands of professionals trained in animal care.
- Your Local Vet
If your pet has medical issues or complex needs, many vet services offer around the clock service where they can house and care for them and you can travel without worrying. However, some vets or animal hospitals won’t be able to accommodate animals for longer than a couple of months so make sure you know how long this option will provide for.
- Take your Pet with You!
Of course, for many types of trip, this just isn’t an option – the paperwork alone of taking an animal over borders, not to mention the added expense of food and the hassle of finding accommodation that allows pets is enough to put anyone off. However, it is an option, especially if you’re traveling in a camper van (or similar). You’re in the best position to judge whether taking your pet is a good idea, but if your animal is well trained and calm, then taking them with you might just be worth it for all the Instagram photos you’ll get!.
Top Tips When Finding Pet Care
- Whether you decide to go for a volunteer, 24hr vet, pet hotel, or house-sitter, always dig deep into the referrals to make sure you’re doing the best you can for your furry family member.
- Call or meet up beforehand – while you’re searching for the perfect caregiver, it’s important to go beyond their website or online profile. Make sure to call or visit in person before making any decisions so you can deceive if you’re comfortable leaving your pet in this person/organization’s care
- Budget for it – make sure your pet-care plan is always factored into your budget and/or savings goals. Accidentally forgetting to budget for that and then having to fork out at the last minute will mean you have to spend less somewhere else and might send your carefully planned funds spinning off the deep end.
So there you have it. Factoring in what to do with your pet while you travel is a bit of a headache because you want to make sure you do what’s best – but there are plenty of options out there and as long as you keep a few top tips in mind, your pet will be happy and well cared for while