Travelling with a pet is oftentimes not an option. So what do you do with your furry family member when you are planning a vacation? We’ve got you covered!
Making Plans for your Pet While you are Away
Most pet owners will rather cancel their vacations or trips than travel with their pets. For one, the bulk of holiday destinations and plans are not pet-friendly, which means you have to make arrangements to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet while you are cruising the Caribbean or taking a flower bath in Bali.
Fortunately, there are pet care options you can count on to take good care of your pet while you go on holiday. So whether you own a cat, a dog or a hamster, you can book your flight and enjoy your holiday in peace without worrying about your pet’s condition. Let’s explore these options:
Options for At-home Pet Care
Hire a Professional Home Service Pet Sitter
A professional house service pet sitter will take absolute care of your pet in your absence. These professionals are well-trained and licensed in all and everything pet care. They are knowledgeable about pet food, grooming, entertainment, and health among other things. Some pet sitters even have certifications in pet first aid training to tackle emergencies and accidents.
Hiring a seasoned pet care professional to tend to your pet while you are away on vacation is the best option out there. Not only are they the most eligible individuals to entrust your pet to, but you can also hold them accountable for their services. Plus, a house service pet sitter is bound by a contract and will do everything in their capacity not to breach that trust.
Enlist the help of a Neighbour, Friend or Family Member
You can ask your neighbour, friend or family member to watch after your pet while going on a trip. This option is even more feasible if your pet is familiar with the enlisted sitter. Plus, you may not need to pay a dime for their service. However, a volunteer might not be as accountable or responsible as a professional home service pet sitter. Your neighbour might simply be doing you a favour and won’t take the job seriously. Your friend may have commitments of their own and won’t spare much-needed time to care for your pet.
But if you have someone who is just as passionate as you are about your pet, do not hesitate to ask for help. And while the sitter might not ask for compensation in return for their service, you should try to compensate in any way you can. Perhaps, you can get them gifts on your trip back home or offer to cover their transportation, if they don’t live nearby.
Hire a House Sitter
Another viable option is to hire a house sitter. Professional home service house sitters live full-time in your house and will give the same care as you would to your pets. They act as supervisors and caregivers, so your pet will get the best care. Though they may not be as knowledgeable as home service pet sitters, they are quite dependable. However, anyone living in your home will have access to several things including sensitive stuff. So you must be comfortable leaving your home and pet in their care.
That being said, you must do your due diligence before taking in a house sitter to watch your pet while you are away. Additionally, house sitters are relatively affordable. Some sitters trade accommodation for pet care while others demand minimal pay in exchange for their service. So if you are on a budget but need a dependable sitter for your pet, you can consider hiring a house sitter that you trust.
Out-of-Home Pet Care
The obvious choice for most pet owners is to have their pets taken care of in their homes when they go on holiday. But if you do not want your pet to remain at home while you are away, consider these care options:
Hire a Pet Sitter
Again, house service pet sitters come in handy when you don’t want your pet taken care of at home while you vacation. A pet sitter can take care of your pet in their space without compromising the quality of care. In fact, some sitters have pets living with them which can be advantageous for your pet in terms of companionship and social development. Thanks to their expertise, they will help your pet adjust to its new environment.
Lodge your Pet at a Boarding Facility or Pet Hotel
There are professional boarding facilities designed to house and care for pets. These structures are typically equipped with well-trained staff and facilities needed for optimum pet care. On the downside, it may be impersonal and your pet may stay locked longer than you’d like. Plus, it can be expensive especially if you are going away for weeks or months.
While there are many fantastic facilities with stellar reviews, there are also bad eggs. So before leaving your pet at a lodging facility or pet hotel, do your research and ensure that the facility is the best fit for your pet. You can check online reviews or get good recommendations from trusted sources.
Keep your Pet with the Local Vet
Many veterinarians run a boarding service with 24/7 care. Consider leaving your pet with the local vet if you run out of options or if your pet has health concerns that require constant medical supervision.
You can also consider a veterinarian boarding facility if you have a unique pet with special needs. For instance, it might be difficult to find sitters for a turtle, unlike cats.
Swap Homes with a Traveler
Though a non-conventional option, you can swap homes with another traveller when you go on holiday so they can help you take care of your pet while you take care of theirs. Some websites offer this unique service.
These websites link you with animal-loving travel enthusiasts throughout the UK who are keen to exchange homes with you and take care of your pet. Reputable home exchange websites often verify their members and provide feedback to ensure the security and responsibility of all parties involved. So if you don’t mind swapping homes and taking care of other people’s pets, you can consider this option.
Leaving your pet in the care of another person while you are away is rife with risks. Here are some tips that can minimize the risks and make the experience worthwhile.
Make sure you trust whoever is minding your pet in your absence, whether it’s a professional home service pet sitter, a friend, a pet hotel or your local vet. If you are working with someone you barely know, ask for referrals. If you are hiring a professional, hire from reputable websites like the house service app.
Review the Environment
If you are leaving your pet in a new environment outside of your home, check out the surroundings to ascertain cleanliness levels and care and safety standards. Get a sense of the facility or home — how clean is it? How well are they taking care of the pets with them?
Pets may find it difficult to adjust to a new environment or sitter while you are away. To make it easier to adjust, introduce them to their new living arrangement (outside or within the home) days or a week before you travel. Have the pet sitter come around or lodge them at the facility and provide reassurance before leaving. Bring along toys and play objects to make their stay more enjoyable. And make sure to leave an emergency contact and other important details before saying goodbye.
Don’t Skimp on Food Supplies
If your trip is just for a few days, you may want to keep your pet at home and have a sitter watch after them. Ask the sitter to check on the pet daily and change their litter. Most importantly, make sure your pet has enough food and water in the absence of the pet sitter.
Prioritize Vaccination and Medical Checks
Before you pack up and leave, make sure that your pet is vaccinated and rid them of fleas, ticks and other parasites. Take them to the vet for a routine and thorough medical checkup. This is especially important if you are going away for a long time.
You mustn’t leave your pet to their own devices when you travel as there are many available options to ensure optimum care and safety in your absence. You can enlist the help of your friends and loved ones, lodge them at a boarding facility or hire a professional pet sitter or house border. We’ve highlighted the upsides and downsides of each option so you can make the best decision for your pet according to your unique needs and circumstances. Remember to download the house service app and hire a professional pet sitter if need be!
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