Leaving your pets alone at home when you go to work every day is hard enough, what more if you have to go away for much longer. Whether you’re going on a business or leisure trip, getting separated from your pet just can’t be avoided on some occasions. It’s natural to feel anxious and worried. Your pets are used to having you around and there’s the question of where to leave your dog while on vacation.
But you don’t necessarily have to miss out on all the fun, whether it’s a long family holiday abroad or a quick weekend trip to the beach with friends. There are quite a few options you may consider, such as leaving your dog for a month with a pet sitter or trying boarding facilities for cats.
1. Get your pet ready
Once you start packing or get busy making travel arrangements, your pet would sense that something is up. Keep to your usual pet routines and try to spend some extra time together on the days before you leave. If your pet is staying at home with a sitter or a friend or family member, leave a piece of clothing with your scent lying around. When it’s time to leave, don’t drag out your goodbyes. Your pets would be more at ease if you walk our calmly and with confidence.
2. Prepare the necessities
Whether your pet is staying at home or at a boarding facility, prepare enough supplies to last the whole duration of your vacation. If your pet requires medication, you should have these readily available to the person caring for your dog as well. Leave detailed instructions for the pet sitter. Provide specific instructions on your pet’s routines, bathroom schedule, and favorite treats and toys. You also must leave details on how you can be reached, as well as your vet’s contact information.
3. Pet-proof your home
For your pet’s safety, remove and put away anything that your pet may accidentally ingest or could cause him injury. Lock rooms you wouldn’t want your pets to get into and make his roaming area as comfortable as possible. It might be a good idea to set up pet fences or barriers to restrict your pet’s movements to specific areas only.
4. Call a friend or a family member
Your absence would be a lot easier for your pet if they could be accompanied by someone familiar. Dogs and cats would be more comfortable at home as compared to a boarding a facility. By entrusting your furry friend to someone whom you know cares about them as much as you do, you can have better of peace of mind while you’re on vacation. It would be extremely helpful for your pets if the sitter continues with their usual routines.
5. Enlist the help of neighbors
Boarding facilities can be an extremely convenient option for leaving your pets to experienced sitters, but it would require temporarily moving your pet to unfamiliar surroundings. If you’re lucky enough to have neighbors whom your pets know and are particularly fond of, and you’d be gone for only a few days, you can ask them for help checking up on your pet from time to time. Your neighbor can feed them and take them for walks. You can offer to return the favor should your neighbor need your help with their pets at any time.
6. Hire a pet sitter
If you have no family member, friend, or neighbor available to help out, you may decide to hire a certified pet sitter. This option would typically cost you more, but pet sitters are, essentially, people who love pets so much that they made it their profession so you can be sure they would give your pet the care and attention he needs.
You can look for pet sitters on classified ads or pet care websites. Arrangements can be made on whether the pert sitter will stay with your pet at home or just visit at designated times for feeding, walking, and play. Make sure that your pet sitter has been certified. You can look for professional pet sitters in your area on the Pet Sitters International website.
7. Arrange for in-home pet boarding
There might be pet sitters in your area who will take your dog or cat in their own homes. In-home pet boarding would be more affordable than hiring a pet sitter to care for your dog in your own home. If your dog is rather sociable, he’s likely to have fun playing with other dogs under the sitter’s care. Registered in-home pet boarding facilities would give cats and dogs individual attention and provide professional care. You can search online for in-home pet boarding in your area.
8. Consider a boarding facility
Boarding facilities for cats and dogs are ready to accommodate pets for owners who need to go on vacation. Also known as dog kennels or catteries, these facilities house multiple pets for a much lower cost compared to a professional sitter. Dog kennels would provide comfortable temporary homes to your canines and offer daily activities that would keep them busy and allow them interaction with other dogs.
In choosing a cattery to leave your feline pet, you’d want to look for ones that keep the cats in separate spaces. Cats wouldn’t normally want to be confined together with unfamiliar cats. Look for boarding facilities that have been certified by the International Boarding & Pets Services Association.
Here are some more tips inside the Infographic
Beyond the question of where to leave your dog or cat while on vacation, it’s all about making sure you and your pet are adequately prepared before the separation. Whether you’re leaving your dog for a month or your cat for a quick weekend getaway, separation would be a lot easier for both of you if you make sure that your pet is in capable hands, and that he’s got everything he needs. You’ll see each other again soon enough and it would be as if you never left.