You’ve got your flights and accommodation sorted, but what about your pet? Below are some options to ensure both you and your pet have a hassle-free holiday.
Kennel or cattery
While you’re on holidays, there’s no reason why your pet can’t have a break from their daily routine as well. Boarding kennels and catteries offer a home away from home for your pet while giving you the security of professional care. When looking for a kennel or cattery, don’t be afraid to ask questions about its standards, whether it’s been vet approved or is an accredited member of a reputable organisation in the pet industry. It’s always a good idea to visit beforehand, to ensure the place is up to standard. Sometimes the images you see on kennel or cattery websites are very different to what’s really being offered! Some vets also offer a boarding service and most can recommend a good boarding place.
Downside: With prices up to $57 per day for the more upmarket kennels (more if you book a luxury suite with TV – yes, for your pet), this can become quite expensive.
House and pet sitter
If your pet doesn’t like change, you can ask someone to come and house/pet sit for you. This option has the added benefit of ensuring your house plants get watered. The best pet sitters are ones who don’t have the commitment of families or their own houses to look after as they’ll be the most flexible. Ask around to see if your colleagues or friends know of anyone who loves animals and would be happy to do it.
Downside: There’s always the worry that your pet will escape or an emergency situation may occur that your pet sitter isn’t equipped to deal with. This is not recommended for animals with medical complications who may need specialised care.
Drop in visits
The best option for weekends away or short breaks, a convenient way of making sure your pet is looked after is asking a neighbour, friend or relative to drop by to make sure your pet is fed and watered.
Downside: This isn’t ideal for longer breaks as it’s a big favour to ask of someone to drop by every day.
Holiday with your pet
Australia is becoming more European in its view of holidaying with your pet. With pet ownership one of the highest in the world, more properties are beginning to see the benefits of allowing pets to stay. Some don’t allow animals inside but provide an enclosed area where your precious pet can sleep. As a general rule, regional and rural properties are more pet-friendly.
Downside: This option restricts the number of places where you can stay and requires you to look around to find a place that suits your – and your pet’s – needs.
Above all, the key to a stress-free holiday is planning ahead. Organise your pet’s arrangements as soon as you’re sure about your travel plans, as many boarding kennels and catteries book out in peak travel periods. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date since most places won’t accept animals who pose a risk to others.
If you’re asking someone to come and look after your pet, stock up on dog/cat food for the time you’re away and have a list of emergency contact numbers should anything happen.