Pets are part of the family. British people are renowned for their love of animals, and many families have at least one furry, scaly or slimy friend they like to take care of. But taking them on holiday is not always an option; you may not be able to keep them at your holiday accommodation, transportation is not always easily possible and furthermore, they can get extremely stressed-out by the travel and the change in surroundings. So what do you do with them when you’re planning to be out?
Boarding pets is a very popular choice. You pay a set amount of money per day and many catteries or kennels provide food, bedding, and everything else your pet may need. Facilities for smaller animals such as hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs may be harder and for fish may be impossible, but they are a good option for more conventional pets. On the downside, many pets do poorly with the lack of personal contact with people they know. If they do not enjoy the company of other animals, being in the noisy kennels with other pets in close proximity (although no kennel would make them share a cage) may be stressful for them, and if your pet has allergies or other restrictions such as reactivity you may not be comfortable trusting their care to facilities that may find it hard to guarantee they won’t come into contact with other pets, bark themselves hoarse, or accidentally get into food they are allergic to when it is spattered into their crate from a neighbour’s bowl.
Taking your pet to a friend or family member’s house is a great idea, as they will already know the person in question. Obviously there will be more personal involvement, and you will be able to rest assured that your friend, mother, or brother will be fully up to date on any restrictions at all times. The downside, of course, is the displacement which can be difficult especially for cats to deal with. On the other hand, smaller pets can find a temporary home quite easily in this manner and you will be comfortable calling and checking up.
A pet-sitter is another choice. This is an excellent pick for animals such as fish which are difficult to move, and allows your pet to remain in their comfortable home where they feel safe. A friend or family member can either live in your house, or nip in a few times per day to feed, water, and otherwise tend to your animals. If you pay them a small amount you can be sure they will be happy to do so, and again you gain the comfort of contacting someone you know and trust if you have any concerns.
Leaving your pets behind when you go on holiday is always a worrying proposition. But if you take careful stock of your options you can pick the one that makes the most sense to you and your pet, and ensure a happy and relaxing holiday for you both.