When planning a vacation, one of the things we need to decide is what to do with our pets when the family goes on vacation.
Regardless of whether you’re planning a short weekend away or a long trip overseas, organising the care of your pets is something all pet owners must do.
Where to leave your pets when going on vacation
Our family has a dog and fish which need to be looked after whenever we’re away from home, so we have to organise for someone to come and care for them.
What are the options?
Depending on the type of pet you have, you can either take your pet with you on vacation, leave it at home and have someone come to your house to take care of it, or leave it at a pet resort that looks after pets while you’re away.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each option, so you can choose what’s right for your pet and family.
Taking Your Pet With You
These days, there are more accommodation options that allow you to bring your pet with you. If you’re camping at a national park with your dog, staying at an Airbnb or even in a hotel, you can often find places that will accommodate pets.
There are also many travel products for pets to make traveling with them much easier- such as this car ramp for dogs which is handy to use on a road trip.
When you’re booking your family’s accommodation, ask if you’re allowed to bring your pet with you. Ask if there are any terms and conditions regarding your pet’s stay- are you allowed to leave your pet in the hotel room or house while you’re out or would you need to bring your pet with you wherever you go?
You won’t need to organize care for your pet
Your pet can enjoy some time away with the family
Your kids will love having the pet with them while away
You may need to pay extra for your accommodation when taking your pet
Not all accommodation options allow for a pet
Your pet may become stressed when being away from home, especially if it’s for a long time
This may not be an option for you if you’re traveling overseas
You may need to take your pet with you wherever you go while you’re away- you might not be able to leave your pet at your accommodation.
Find A Pet Sitter
Finding someone to come to your home to look after your dog is a common option for most people. You could have the person stay at your home while you’re away, or the person could just drop in to feed your pet, take it for a walk and to check that everything is ok.
This is the option that our family uses- it’s the easiest and most cost effective solution. You might be able to ask a trusted neighbor to come over each day and feed your pet, or even a friend who lives nearby.
If you’re away for a while, then having someone come and stay at your home is a great option- not only will they be there to look after your pet, but your home will also be looked after while you’re away. They can also look after your garden! This is the option we choose when we’re traveling overseas- we have a relative or friend come and stay.
Your pet can stay home in its familiar environment rather than be taken somewhere unfamiliar
This is often more cost effective than leaving your pet at a pet resort
If you leave your pet at another location, the pet can get stressed and upset in an unfamiliar environment
If you have someone stay at your home to pet sit, your house is also being looked after
This is a great option if you have pets that can’t be transported easily, such as fish!
You may not have trusted neighbors or nearby friends and relatives who will take on the responsibility
If you choose someone to pet sit without staying at your home, your pet may become anxious and stressed
You’ll most likely need to buy enough pet food and supplies beforehand for your pet sitter
Leaving your pet at a pet resort or with a carer
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your pet at home, you can find a carer who is happy to take your pet and look after it for you, or you can find an animal resort or shelter that looks after pets while their owners are away.
This is a great option if you don’t want someone staying in your home looking after your pet.
Pet resorts are great because they not only feed your dog and provide her somewhere to sleep, but they often have activities, take them for walks and other things to entertain them. Your pet gets to socialize with other animals too.
When you leave your pet at a resort or shelter, you’re leaving your pet in the hands of a qualified carer. This is important if your pet has special health needs and requirements or needs extra care.
Pet resorts are run by qualified carers that can provide your pet with the attention and care they need
If you don’t have someone to come to your home to look after your pet, taking the pet to a resort is a great alternative
Most resorts offer activities and other things to entertain and look after your pet
Your pet can socialize with other pets at the center
Your pet is taken care of 24/7
Pet resorts are the most expensive pet care option
Your pet may get anxious being away from his home
Your pet may not be used to socializing with other animals
How to choose the best option for your pet
There are a few different options for pet care when you go on vacation. The option you choose will depend on different things.
Think about your pet’s personality- does he respond well to other people? Would he respond well to a pet sitter?
Does your pet cope well when put in a new environment or does he get anxious or stressed?
Does your pet have special dietary requirements or health issues that need extra special care and attention?
You also need to consider your own needs and requirements. Is a pet resort within your budget? Do you prefer to have someone stay at your home to house sit as well as pet sit? How long will you be away for?
What to do before you leave for vacation
Once you’ve decided on the best pet care option, there are a few things to do before you leave for vacation.
It’s a good idea to get your pet acquainted with their carer before you go away. Invite the carer to your home to get to know your pet, or ask the pet resort if you can bring your pet to the center to get to know its environment.
Take your pet to your local vet to have a check up to make sure there aren’t any health issues you need to be aware of before you go on vacation. Make sure that, if applicable, your pet’s immunizations are up to date.
If you’ve chosen the pet sitting option, make sure you buy enough food, treats and pet shampoo (if applicable) to cover the time that you’ll be away. Leave clear and detailed instructions for your pet sitter- how much to feed your pet, how often to feed, how often to bathe, walking requirements and any other information that is important for your sitter to know about your pet.
Let your sitter know of emergency contact details, such as your vet, the local animal shelter and your contact details while you’re away.
If applicable, give your pet a bath prior to your departure.
Most importantly, spend some extra time with your pet and shower them with your love! They’re going to miss you while you’re away, and you will probably miss them too!