How to Prepare Your Pet for When You Go on Holiday How to Prepare Your Pet for When You Go on Holiday

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

How to Prepare Your Pet for When You Go on Holiday

When summer comes around, one of the questions our pet experts hear is ‘What do I do with my pet when I go on holiday?’ and the answer to that is a number of things. Many places across the UK offer pet friendly staycation options, where you can pack up your dog’s essentials and head to the open road with your best friend tagging along.

Whilst it’s fun to take our pets on the ride, holidays and time to rest is important to everyone’s wellbeing. And as much as you love spending time with them, it is okay to go on holiday without your pet. The most important decision when planning for a holiday or weekend away, is to make the right arrangements for your pet so they’re well cared for and feel safe.

There are lots of pet sitting options to explore and it can take time to find the ideal care for your pet, so we always advise to do this well in advance.

Family or Friends Help

Pets can suffer from stress whilst you’re away, so having a family member or friend care for your pet at your home would be the best pet-sitting option. This way they’re in their own environment, which is particularly important for cats, rabbits or guinea pigs as they won’t be as accustomed to leaving the house or travelling.

Professional Pet Sitters

Professional pet sitters will stay at your home and care for your pet whilst you’re away. Finding the ideal person can seem a daunting task, but The National Association of Pet Sitters have a members list which is a great place to start.

Our tips for choosing a professional pet sitter include:

  • Introduce them to your pet before your time away, this will help them get accustomed to their new friend and build trust.
  • Always ask to see a copy of their DBS certificate to check that they don't have a criminal background
  • Check their references from previous pet sitting jobs
  • Check that they have insurance to cover your pet in case of an emergency

Animal Boarding Kennels

If you can't find a friend, family or pet sitter, then an alternative option is to find a good dog kennel, cattery or small animal boarder.

It's important to take the time to find a place that's suitable for your pet, as each one will vary, and the environment can be stressful. If it's your first time choosing an animal boarding place, ask your vet, local pet experts or friends for recommendations. You can also contact local councils or search online for local places. We would always recommend visiting the boarding kennels before you make your decision.

Whatever option you choose, it’s important to ensure your pet feels comfortable and safe in their environment. We’ve put together a packing list to help you prepare your pet for their holidays whilst you enjoy yours.

  • The top of the list is their food! Make sure you have enough pet food to last your holiday to help avoid any further routine upset. Or you can set up a pet food subscription to organise a delivery for whilst you’re away.
  • Long-lasting or occupier chews and treats are also a great choice for their overnight bag, especially if your pet will be in an unfamiliar environment. Not only can the chewing keep them distracted, but it can also help keep them calm.
  • Their favourite toys. Playtime is important, even on their holidays, so packing the puzzle toys, dog balls or scratching posts will keep them entertained and active.
  • For dogs, make sure you pack all their walking accessories including poo bags, their collar, lead and a harness if you use one.
  • For cats, don’t forget to pack their litter tray! With plenty of cat litter to keep things clean and tidy.
  • If your pet is staying away from home, include some familiar smelling items. For dogs and cats this could be their soft, snuggly blanket or bed, for small pets we recommend including some used (but clean) bedding.
  • If your pet is due for a parasite treatment top up whilst you’re away, make sure you provide your sitter or kennels with the right flea and tick treatment, and a worming treatment just in case.
  • As well as their essentials, make sure your sitter has a copy of your contact details, your vet details and any insurance information they might need.

If you’re unsure about what to pack for your pet or would like advice on what training you can do at home to help prepare your pet for your departure; our experts are on hand at your local store and online with advice and product recommendations. If you’re taking your pet with you on holiday, you can also read up on our top tips for travelling with dogs.