With Christmas just around the corner you might be thinking of going on a holiday, but what will you do with your pets?
There are a few options for how and where your pets can spend their time while you are away. Here are some pros and cons of each to help you make the right decision for your pet.
Staying at Home Alone
This, in general, is not a good idea and I would not recommend it. A lot can happy to a pet in a matter of hours so leaving them alone is not safe. If you do have to leave them alone overnight make sure that they have access to a number of different water bowls, in shady cool locations. Make sure that all poisonous, dangerous and breakable objects are well locked up and secure. Bored and lonely pets can get into a lot of mischief so make sure the house or yard is pet safe. Preferably, even if it is only for one night, let your neighbours know that you will be away and have them check in on your pets for you.
Visiting pet carer or pet sitter
Pet sitters or visiting carers are a good option for your pets if you would like to leave them at home. Some pets find it less stressful to stay at home and in familiar surroundings while their owners are away. You could ask friends, family or neighbours to do this for you and drop in to check on and feed, water and play with your pets. There are also a number of companies, like Pet Sitting Australia, that provide this service. You can also check in your local papers or on community notice boards for someone. This often works out cheaper than boarding facilities, especially if you have a number of animals that need looking after. The negative to this is that someone will usually only visit your pets once a day, this means the rest of the time and overnight they are alone.
Live in pet and house sitter
Like visiting carers this is an option that is often a lot less stressful on your pets. They will have more human company and someone with them overnight. Having someone live in your house means that they will not only look after your pets, they will also care for your home, water your plants, collect the mail and take out the rubbish. You might feel more comfortable having a family member or friend staying in your house rather than a stranger. There are also a number of companies that offer live-in house and pet sitting like Mind A Home Australia. Or you could advertise on a local community Facebook page, or in the local paper or just ask around.
Staying with family or friends
Having your animals stay with friends or family is often a good option. It is definitely cheaper than a kennel or cattery plus you should be able to trust them to take good care of your pets. It is even better if your pets can stay with someone that they already know and like. When choosing someone to look after your pets make sure they love pets, understand the responsibilities and is happy to do so. Pick someone whose house and yard is suitable and pet friendly. Also make sure if they have pets of their own that they all get along.
Staying at a carers home
This is also another great option for pets that really like having company. Here pets will stay at a carers house, possibly with other animals. If using a carer make sure to visit them at home to see what the house and yard is like. Check what other animals would be there at the same time and how they care for animals. Mad Paws is a website that lets you get in contact with minders all over Australia.
Boarding at a vet clinic
This may be a good option for pets that have a chronic illness or injury that requires daily monitoring, medication or treatment. Take into consideration that they will spend the majority of their time in a small hospital cage, with very little exercise or free time. A vet clinic is often not a calm and relaxing place. With sick and injured animals, machines and surgery they can be a stressful and scary place.
Boarding kennels or catteries
There are a lot of kennels and catteries around in most areas, just check the internet and local papers. Pets will stay in a small pen either by themselves or sometimes they can share. The benefits of a boarding facility is that you know that your pet will be unable to escape. They should also receive the daily care and attention that they require. I would suggest that you thoroughly investigate the different boarding facilities available. Visit the facilities to see how they work, meet the staff, see the size of the kennels, ask about the exercise regimes and feeding routines. Also ask what they do if your pet fell sick and what veterinarian they will use. Only choose a kennel or cattery that you feel comfortable with.
Once you decide to go on holidays get organising your pets care as soon as possible. Places and carers can fill up quickly especially over Christmas holidays. Always take into consideration safety and your pets personality and their needs when choosing care. Remember, if you know that your pets are safe, and being looked after, it will be one less stress for you and will be able to enjoy your holiday even more.
Until next time,